[Novel] The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende)

The House of the Spirits


A poignant record of four generations of a very memorable family in post-colonial Chile.

Profound, interesting, likable characters
A few parts of the story might feel a bit slow
Interesting story inspired by historical facts
Relatively engrossing plot with a couple of cool twists here and there
Enlightening on Chilean culture and history


[Novel] The Old Wives’ Tale (Arnold Bennett)

the old wives' tale


A novel that narrates the entire lives of two very different sisters in late 19th century England and France.

Sarcastic, thoroughly evocative prose that’s just a joy to read
Not the most original concept in the world
Interesting, likable, profound characters
Relatively engaging plot
Enlightening on late 19th century England and France
Thought-provoking on life

[Novel] Rite of Passage (Alexei Panshin)

rite of passage


The novel starts interesting by introducing a world of people living in spaceships and only descending to planets for a rite of passage to prove their survival skills, but the rest of the plot turns out to be a pretty generic coming of age story with more or a fantasy vibe than science-fiction.

Interesting sci-fi setting
Predictable and dull plot
Likable, relatively profound characters
The story is nothing special
Thought-provoking about how deeply cultural differences can separate societies

[Novel] The Sheltering Sky (Paul Bowles)

the sheltering sky


A novel about a couple that bit a bit more than it could chew by figuring money was all they needed to survive in the alien culture of Morocco.

Exotic setting
Predictable narrative
Interesting, profound characters
Never gets particularly exciting
A relatively engaging plot
Enlightening on Morocco culture in early 20th century
Thought-provoking on cultural disconnect

[Novel] Angle of Repose (Wallace Stegner)

angle of repose


A fascinating account of the frontier-era USA that’s inspired by real people and even weaves some of their actual authentic letters into the plot.

Interesting, profound characters
The story isn’t particularly exciting
A relatively interesting plot inspired by real historical facts
Enlightening on the frontier-era USA