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Literary Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
#11  Bookworm_Girl 04-23-2019, 02:35 AM
Quote AnotherCat
I also wondered if the author was unsure how to wind up the story line as it seemed, to me, a bit straggly and compressed at the end. But I find that I feel that way quite often when reading novels.
I'm also glad that we read this book. I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I abandoned 100 Years of Solitude about halfway through so I was a little fearful that the experience would be similar.

I made the comment earlier that I wasn't sure where the book was headed and it seemed to be stories within stories. Then it became clear that my impression was what I think the author wanted the reader to feel when Aravena gives Eva the contract and says:

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As he explained without preliminaries, the script did not even remotely fit the usual patterns; in fact, the whole thing was a jumble of bizarre characters and unrealistic anecdotes; it lacked true romance; the protagonists were neither good-looking nor rich; it was almost impossible to follow the train of events; the audience would be totally lost. In sum it was a mess and no one with an ounce of sense would run the risk of producing it, but he was going to do it because he could not resist the temptation to scandalize the country with such rubbish- and because Mimi had asked him to.

"Keep writing, Eva. I'm curious about how you're going to end such a mishmash," he said as he showed me to the door.
And of course the reader is wondering too how it's going to end! I do agree with you that the book felt compressed at the end. I was surprised that it took so long for Eva and Rolf's stories to connect. Like somewhere around 75% maybe? I thought that romantic line would occur much sooner. I think part of the issue was how to make the mishmash of story lines all work out with happy endings so that made it a "bit lumpier" and rushed.
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#12  sun surfer 05-18-2019, 02:14 PM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I'm also glad that we read this book. I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I abandoned 100 Years of Solitude about halfway through so I was a little fearful that the experience would be similar.
I liked 100 Years of Solitude but I can see where your frustrations might've been with it. At least, I can guess it might have something to do with its haphazard plotting? I think you also read his Love in the Time of Cholera when it was a book club selection; if so did you like that one better? (it's been a long time and I can't remember anything of what was in that thread, heh)

Quote Bookworm_Girl
And of course the reader is wondering too how it's going to end! I do agree with you that the book felt compressed at the end. I was surprised that it took so long for Eva and Rolf's stories to connect. Like somewhere around 75% maybe? I thought that romantic line would occur much sooner.
I agree; I was surprised at how long it took for them to properly connect storylines. Perhaps if they were both equally co-protagonists, but the book obviously makes Eva THE protagonist with Rolf as more of a secondary protagonist, so Rolf's whole story seems almost only in service of the 'main' story happening to Eva, with which keeping the stories apart so long left his thread feeling as if it were dangling.

Quote AnotherCat
I also wondered if the author was unsure how to wind up the story line as it seemed, to me, a bit straggly and compressed at the end. But I find that I feel that way quite often when reading novels.
Quote Bookworm_Girl
I think part of the issue was how to make the mishmash of story lines all work out with happy endings so that made it a "bit lumpier" and rushed.
Well, what with the timing of tomorrow being the series finale, this makes me think of the epic Game of Thrones television show. It was an excellent series when it still had books to adapt from. The last few seasons it passed the written books (which I've also read all of) and even though the author Martin gave the showrunners a general outline of what he plans to happen in the final unpublished books, the showrunners are having a terrible time wrapping things up properly. The rumour is that Martin is also having a terrible time finishing the last few books despite already knowing the general beats he wants to hit because everything is so sprawling in his story. Anyway, the showrunners of the television series are finishing up in a way that you both perfectly already described- straggly, compressed, lumpy and rushed.

What this has to do with Eva Luna, I'm not so sure.
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#13  Bookworm_Girl 05-27-2019, 12:49 AM
Oops - sorry, my mistake. I keep getting Love in the Time of Cholera and 100 Years of Solitude mixed up! I did not finish the one that the Lit Club read many years ago.

I've been thinking about this book some more. I just went back and re-read the first line: "My name is Eva, which means "life," according to a book of names my mother consulted." It is significant that the title of the book is simply Eva Luna, her name, which is symbolic of life and light. One has to assume that Allende was very intentional in selecting this name and title. Wikipedia had the following statement about a key theme in this book. It reminded me that I had read somewhere that many of Allende's books were based on her own experiences, often focused on women, and weaving myth and realism together. In this case, she makes Eva Luna the weaver of stories as the main protagonist.

From Wikipedia:
Quote
Allende critiques on the gender imbalance that was and still is present in most Latin American countries. Generally, women were regarded as objects, entities that were subjugated in a male hegemony. Through the protagonist Eva, Allende has found a character that reflects on all the characteristics that all women trying to survive in the harsh conditions of Latin America, should embody. Eva's name is itself symbolic. Luna is Spanish for "moon" – a symbol of the matriarchal power that women possess. In many ways the character Eva reflects Allende herself and the struggle that she went through after her father's cousin, Salvador Allende, was overthrown as Chilean President on September 11, 1973
One of the things that I thought was interesting was that she wasn't really writing about the social/political upheaval of a specific country's history but more of a general experience in Latin America for that time period.
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#14  Bookworm_Girl 05-27-2019, 12:56 AM
Quote sun surfer
Well, what with the timing of tomorrow being the series finale, this makes me think of the epic Game of Thrones television show. It was an excellent series when it still had books to adapt from. The last few seasons it passed the written books (which I've also read all of) and even though the author Martin gave the showrunners a general outline of what he plans to happen in the final unpublished books, the showrunners are having a terrible time wrapping things up properly. The rumour is that Martin is also having a terrible time finishing the last few books despite already knowing the general beats he wants to hit because everything is so sprawling in his story. Anyway, the showrunners of the television series are finishing up in a way that you both perfectly already described- straggly, compressed, lumpy and rushed.

What this has to do with Eva Luna, I'm not so sure.
What a hilarious parallel of GoT to Eva Luna. So true! With fewer happy endings though in GoT!
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