Jennifer Reese
November 01, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Ines of My Soul

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Isabel Allende
publisher
HarperCollins
genre
Fiction

We gave it an B

Based on real-life 16th-century conquistadora Inés Suárez, the plucky narrator of Isabel Allende’s new bodice ripper sails from Spain to the New World in search of her first husband, who abandoned her for the dream of El Dorado. In South America, Inés hooks up instead with Francisco Pizarro’s virile field marshal, Pedro de Valdivia, and the two trek across the desert (”what burning solitudes!”) and conquer Chile. Allende peppers Inés’ bio, Inés of My Soul with characteristically fragrant details — emotional firestorms, lush foliage, aphrodisiac potions, and many ”blazing whirlwinds” of lovemaking — that turn a truly extraordinary life story into a forgettable, easy-reading romp.

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