Author(s): Isabel Allende
In December 1991, Isabel Allende's daughter Paula, aged 26 fell gravely ill and sank into a coma. This book was written during the interminable hours the novelist spent in the corridors of the Madrid hospital, in her hotel room and beside Paula's bed during the summer and autumn of 1992. Faced with the loss of her child, Isabel Allende turned to storytelling, to sustain her own spirit and to convey to her daughter the will to wake up, to survive. The story she tells is that of her own life, her family history and the tragedy of her nation, Chile, in the years leading up to Pinochet's brutal military coup.