All member reviews for The House of the Spirits

Common Sense Media says

Magical novel explores personal, political passions.

Users say

(out of 2 reviews)
age 18+
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Parent Written byblessedtobeamom March 23, 2014

Graphic sexual content is too much

Allende is a very descriptive writer, and that is what should cause parents concern about their teens reading the graphic sexual content in this book. In addition to the items mentioned by the reviewer above (and there are many instances of what she has mentioned), there is a brutal rape of a virgin teen, sexual perversion with a corpse (that is observed by another character in the book who is left mute after witnessing this scene), and the molestation of a 6 year old girl that are described in more detail than is necessary or appropriate for teens. The main character is driven by sex throughout the entire book and it is graphically described - not images that are healthy for teens. Allende herself, in a recent letter posted on the School Library Journal website, says, "Since today TV series, movies, videogames and comics exploit sex and violence, including torture and rape, as forms of entertainment, I don’t think that young adults will be particularly offended by the strong scenes from The House of the Spirits". Her words should be a warning to all parents to read this book before you consider allowing your teens to read it. I know many parents and teens that don't consider sex and violence, torture and rape, as a form of entertainment.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bySukikiokia November 16, 2015

I would like to say something good, but...

Honestly, not only is it inappropriate, but its just not good. The timeline causes for a lack of plot and therefore a lack of drive for the story. There is lots of sex, rape, prostitution, and pornography. If you're thinking you could use this book to dive deeper into ethical dilemmas, prepare to be disappointed. There is no evidence to justify any of the negative actions of the character and so what you're left with is a bunch of people agreeing that rape is bad. Wow, that cleared that up! For a second I thought rape was GREAT! Now there is the setting. We see Chile progress through time and politics, however, the author prefers to focus on sex. This leaves a fascinating portion of the story untold. "Magical Realism" is quite the joke if you've ever read a non-fiction fantasy book, but if not, you might be impressed. The only people I have ever known to like this book are uneducated sex-obsesed freaks.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking