It's been a while since I read a book and didn't want it to end...but that's exactly what happened with Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune, our fourth pick for this year. In case you're new to the blog, Erica and I have been reading our best modern classics for a book club we have termed English 101. If you're reluctant to read historical fiction like Erica was, I can assure you--this book is so accessible, and the characters so compelling, you won't give a fig about the corsets. The historical details ground the novel, only serving to enhance the story, which sweeps through 19th century China, Chile, and California. Eliza is a heroine of the first order: vivacious, flawed, and entirely courageous. Her search for identity, and love, takes her from the drawing rooms of Valparaiso to the lawless hills of California during the gold rush, transcending the limitations of her gender in the process. When I closed the book, sitting on the promenade under the Brooklyn Bridge, I almost expected to look up and see the Golden Gate instead. Reading Allende for the first time was also pretty incredible: before I was 20 pages into the book, I was lulled by the charm of her narrative, trusting myself entirely to her storytelling. I wasn't disappointed. Have you read Daughter of Fortune? What did you think? If you're one of the first five to comment, I'll send you a book. Happy reading!