Isabel Allende is a beautiful writer. This book reads like an historical fiction. It traces the lives of two lovers in a complicated relationship from their exile from Spain during the civil war, to Chile, some time in Venezuela after the coup there, and then a return to Chile to live out their lives. I believe that Isabel is the niece of the Marxist leader who was elected in Chile, and then killed during the coup. She had a front-row seat for the terrible atrocities that took place in Chile. While it has politics at its base, this is a story about enduring love and relationships that last a lifetime.