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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The House of the Spirits, Isabelle Allende, comes a passionate tale of one young woman's quest to save her lover set against the chaos of the 1849 California Gold Rush.

Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaquín Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. Joaquín takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him.

As Eliza embarks on her perilous journey north in the hold of a ship and arrives in the rough-and-tumble world of San Francisco, she must navigate a society dominated by greedy men. But Eliza soon catches on with the help of her natural spirit and a good friend, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi’en. What began as a search for love ends up as the conquest of personal freedom.

A marvel of storytelling, Daughter of Fortune confirms once again Isabel Allende's extraordinary gift for fiction and her place as one of the world's leading writers.

©2014 Isabel Allende (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Daughter of Fortune

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An adventure to the California Gold Fields of 1849

This is an interesting historical fiction about a Chilean woman, Eliza Sommers, who comes to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush. She is hunting for her lover, Joaquin Andiata, who left Chile for the gold fields of California.

The book is well written and researched. Allende states she spent seven years researching this book. So many books have people coming from Europe to the California Gold Rush. It was great to read a story where the key people come from South America. Allende is a great storyteller, and I felt I was with Eliza in Chile, on the ship and in California. I could almost hear, smell and see the scenes she described. The ending left me feeling as if the book was not over. Is this book part of a series or trilogy? I noted the book was published in 1998 in Spanish by Plaza & Janes and translated to English in 1999. It was featured as in Oprah’s Book Club in February 2000. I recommend this book.

The book is thirteen hours and nineteen minutes. Blair Brown does a good job narrating the book. Brown is a Tony Award winning actress. Brown also won the Ace Award and was nominated for five Emmy Awards. I wondered if the narration would have been even better if done by a person with a native Chilian/Spanish accent.

5 people found this helpful

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I'm a believer of this type of love

The old fashioned novel have a place but this books also has a place in getting to know yourself as female. I got to reflect in many aspects of my life and verbalize what it was missing. The author not only explored the role of a female in many layers of society, she also explore topics that we are still living today without fantasizing the details.

2 people found this helpful

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Pointless

This book is dreadful. The story of Eliza but a quarter of the book seems to be detailed introductions of secondary characters that don't add a ton to the story. It's choppy and hard to follow. The bits about life in California during and after the gold rush is interesting but there are so many unnecessary storylines. For example, a new character is introduced with 15 minutes left to go! What's the point of that? I was just glad to get it over with.

1 person found this helpful

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A fantastic piece of historical fiction

Loved it. Well written and read. An exciting tale of love and what really matters.

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great story definitely recommend

why does it say that this comment section is optional? it won't let you submit without 15 words. this is my last review.

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I thought this book would never end!

I think the first half of this book could have been more condensed. It went on and on, then the plot became more interesting. If it hadn’t been a book club book, I would have laid it down after the first 100 pages.

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Isabel Allende never disappoints

I discovered her books a few years ago and enjoyed every one. This is no different. A delightful and engrossing story although I am still struggling with the ending. Great narration.

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Did not Disappoint

I am always looking forward to reading or listening to the style of writing of Isabel Allende. The narrator 's voice was perfect. I would have like to know more of the characters future.

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  • Serina 2290
  • 12-19-20

A good tale with fiction and facts - excellent

Hard to go past my longest favourite author. She spins a beautiful tale, fact and fiction, romance and political commentary. The narrator brought the story and characters to life just as I imagined they would be. It is many years since I first read the book, it has stayed on my shelf waiting to be re-read, but it is so good to keep busy and enjoy the story at the same time.