Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Inés of My Soul

I love historical fiction.  It's probably in the top three of my favorite genres.  Inés of My Soul is an excellent example of historical fiction and it's written the way I wish most...OK, all...historical fiction was written.  I like for a book to start with a truly historical person or event and for the author to meld a storyline around the facts.  Basically, filling in the blank places that historical inaccuracies leave and therefore, making the book flow without random starts and stops or gaps within the story.

Inés is based upon the real life of Inés de Suárez, one of the few strong characters who helped settle Chile back in the 1500s.  Inés grew up in a relatively small town in Spain and married her first true love...who promptly left to explore the New World.  After waiting a short time, Inés decided to follow her husband, whom she hadn't heard word from in some time.  When her long journey across the ocean and across new terrain comes to a logical stop, Inés learns that she is now a widow.  Not long after this, Inés begins a romantic relationship with Pedro de Valdivia, commonly known as the conqueror of Chile.

This book is written from Inés' first person account as if she is writing a long, long letter to her daughter, near the end of Inés' life.  The story is a dramatic, detailed and beautifully written epic. 

While this story was quite fantastic and Inés was an amazing woman, I never felt compelled to keep on and on with this book.  I borrowed it in audiobook form from a member of my book club and while I enjoyed it, I never felt the need to drive around the block or extend my trip while these CDs were in my car.  I always enjoyed listening to it, but I never wanted to just sit in my car for hours on end listening to what happened next.  Sometimes that happens with really well-written books...kind of how you never wanted to read the fantastic books that were always assigned in school.  They just seemed sooooo boring at the time.  I give this book a solid three out of five stars because I can appreciate what a fantastic work it is, but it just wasn't a real page-turner (or CD-track-turner, in this case) for me.

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