(Daughter of Fortune, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, Eva Luna, The House of the Spirits)
Allende is known for her lyrical, beautifully descriptive language, her well-crafted female characters, and her use of magical realism. Her novels defy genre, but the hallmark of her work is the exploration of the effects of social and political upheaval—be they romantic, generational, or historic. All of these elements are drawn from South American history and from Allende’s personal experience.
If you enjoy Allende’s books, try:
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (if you enjoy family sagas, magical realism, and the inclusion of South American turbulence, try One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Laura Esquivel (for readers who appreciate Allende’s Latin American sensibility and would like a sensual, character-driven read, try Like Water for Chocolate)
Julia Alvarez (if your favorite aspect of Allende’s work is her masterful storytelling, you might like In the Time of the Butterflies, a tale of four sisters set in the Dominican Republic)
Sandra Benitez (Benitez shares Allende’s lyrical prose, multi-generational stories, fantastical elements, and engrossing characters. Try The Weight of All Things or Bitter Grounds)
Michael Chabon (if you enjoy Allende’s style and characters but would like something a little different, try Gentlemen of the Road)