Isabel Allende, the name got my attention when lockdown was declared last year. Her book, a latest release then, A long petal of the sea, spoke about civil war and was much talked about amongst the book bloggers. I missed out reading that one but I made sure to grab a copy of The soul of a woman, her latest release in which she speaks about feminist, feminism, and what it is like to be a woman.

The author dexterously documents her life in a few hundred pages. She speaks about her mother who was a victim of patriarchy. About her colleagues who were feminists like her. She talks about women’s liberation movements of her era. She touches upon multiple facets that make and break a woman. From education to monetary independence to sexuality, Allende convincingly pens down the evolution of feminism.

Isabel Allende peppers the crisp essay-esque write-ups with ample anecdotes, her experiences, humor and research. The information given about violence against women, malpractices around the world, the statistics is astounding. Author’s writing is so easy on you that you find yourself immersed in the book, turning pages, smiling and laughing at times. Her humor is straight-face and catches you off- guard.

With this book, a memoir, the author tries to touch the core of what it means to be a woman – the soul of a woman. She unravels her life one page at a time. She poses questions. She asserts her views. She affirms to the new norms. And she closes the book hoping that the pandemic will bring about egalitarian culture and acceptance, and that, that will be a new normal around the world.

This book is sure for keeps. I am certainly going back to it to binge on the succulent nuggets of wisdom the author shares with us. A must read if you wish to understand “The soul of a woman.”

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