* Isabel Allende is a native of Chile and her father was a cousin of Salvador Allende, one time president of Chile.
* Allende's daughter, Paula, is critically ill in a hospital in Spain and Allende leaves a book tour to be by her side.
* Paula slips in and out of consciousness from complications of porphyria.
* Allende decides to write this book as if it is a letter to Paula so she will be able to read her family story when she awakens.
* Allende's maternal grandparents worked very hard to become wealthy and well placed in society.
* Allende's grandmother, Meme, had spiritual and psychic abilities.
* Allende's mother married Tomas Allende, someone her parents considered inappropriate.
* Allende and her new husband move to Peru when he takes the position of secretary to the Chilean embassy.
* Tomas gets involved in scandals and Allende's mother must move back to her...
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