This novel starts with a family of one Del Valle where two daughters- Rosa and Clara are the major focus for the family. The youngest daughter- Clara- possesses some powers, which help her make some predictions on the future. On one such occasion, the daughter predicted of a death occurring in the home. A few days later, the eldest daughter Rosa dies after consuming poison, which accidentally was meant for their father apparently, Del Valle was seeking an election post in the forthcoming elections. Devastated by her lover’s death, Esteban Trueba looks for other jobs and secures one as a foreman but as some weird characters. One day Trueba raped some women and one of whom became his wife and bore Esteban Garcia (Allende p.11).
Clara grows up, marries Esteban and Blanca, their daughter, is born but their marriage does not last long after Esteban’s ruthless whipping of Blanca upon discovering she was involved in immorality. Blanca becomes pregnant with Pedro Tercelo’s child but they are no longer together and instead marry a French count albeit momentarily. Alba is the daughter Blanca gives birth to and Clara realizes that Alba resembles Rosa in many ways. She goes to college and meets one Miguel and a relationship is initiated. Later, Esteban Garcia kidnaps and rapes Alba and this leaves her distraught and wishes to die but Clara’s spirit comforts her. She vows not to seek refuge for the barbarism accorded to her and strongly believes that forgiveness is what will eventually break the seemingly continuous cycle of evil in that society (Allende p.13).
Many critics have claimed that Alba played a significant role in the novel one that could be equated to that of a protagonist. For instance, the reason Garcia rape her was due to her perceived high position and the treasures that she would inherit (Mackay and Ned p.20). Additionally, she was thought by many to be Count de Satigny’s daughter though ...Show more