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Portrait in Sepia

by Isabel Allende

A richly detailed family saga linking the worlds of North and South America with a fascinating account of the life of Aurora del Valle. She is tormented by dreadful nightmares following a traumatic childhood experience, an experience that she has blocked from her memory. She decides to explore her past and her complex family ties in order to uncover her dark secret. Although a sequel to Daughter of Fortune, it can easily be read alone.

Extract

After a week of anesthetizing the nun with hot chocolate and making love line gypsies, Severo's stump had healed and his temperature returned to normal. Before two months had passed, Severo del Valle was walking with crutches and beginning to talk about a wooden leg, while Nivea was vomiting up her insides in one of the twenty-three bathrooms in her uncle's palace. When there was nothing to do but confess that Nivea was in the family way, the surprise was so great that it was even suggested that her pregnancy was a miracle. The nun professed to be the most scandalized of all, but Severo and Nivea suspected that despite the massive doses of valerian, the blessed woman had learned a great deal; she had pretended to sleep so as not to deprive herself of the pleasure of spying on them.
Translated by Margaret

Parallels

Cloud Mountain by Aimee Liu
 

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