At the age of 28 Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, was stricken by porphyria and lapsed into a coma. Paula was written at her bedside as a way to work through emotions and unfinished business. Allende re-tells the tragic story of Paula's illness and treatment, while simultaneously recounting her life story.
I cannot begin to imagine the strain of caring for someone with a long-term illness. Allende approached the situation with fierce devotion and drive, doing everything within her power to help Paula. She rallied other family members even during the darkest times, and turned to her writing for emotional release.
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors, so I found it quite interesting to learn about her childhood, the family members who inspired her writing, and her escape from Chile's political unrest. In turn, she inspired me as a feminist, a mother, and a deeply spiritual woman.
My original review can be found here.