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Review: Isabel Allende offers bold exploration of womanhood

              This cover image released by Ballantine shows "The Soul of a Woman" by Isabel Allende. (Ballantine via AP)
This cover image released by Ballantine shows "The Soul of a Woman" by Isabel Allende. (Ballantine via AP)

"The Soul of a Woman," by Isabel Allende (Ballantine)

Acclaimed writer Isabel Allende’s short memoir, "The Soul of a Woman" is a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more.

This short, but mighty memoir opens with a proud declaration that Allende has been a feminist since kindergarten, and from there launches readers into an enchanting examination of the life she has lived ever since.

Now in her late 70s, Allende reflects on her life, from her childhood and parents to her experience becoming a mother and grandmother.

The memoir is a chronicle of her fierce advocacy for herself and for the power of women, and it is also an ode to the many people who shaped her. With humor and wisdom, Allende offers poignant observations on topics like ambition, the lack of respect we show to aging people and the #MeToo movement.

Spending time with Allende within these pages is a true delight. The book is conversational, contemplative, and relatable. Allende is self-deprecating and jubilant, writing as if she is chatting over coffee and scones with an old friend about the lessons life has taught her. The book will no doubt make you think about these big concepts in new and personal ways.


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