As a young woman in the late 1960s, Chilean novelist Isabel Allende rode the first wave of feminism. She has paved the way for younger generations and feminists today, and here is The Soul of a Women, she is giving us the gift of her insight as she reflects on her feminist storyline through her personal history. She packs in a lot here in this short, bold, inspiring upbeat part memoir as she shares her life lessons and wisdom on womanhood, aging, ambition, romance, and marriage. She asks female friends if they are happy with their gender and shares what she learned. She is honest with her truths while she shares her insight and wisdom. She questions and explores what women want, why women live in fear of men, and why men fear women. She shares her passion for justice and equality while delving into violence against women.
“For centuries, it was debated whether or not women had souls,” and here Isabel Allende shares a look into the souls of women and the women who helped paved her life.
Isabel Allende’s definition of feminism. .”It is not what we have between our legs but what we have between our ears. It’s a philosophical posture and an uprising against male authority. It’s a way of understanding male relations and a way to see the world. It’s a commitment to justice and a struggle for the emancipation of women, the LGTBIQA+ community, anyone oppressed by the system, including some men, and all others who want to join.”
Her inspiring insight into aging stood out to me, and I loved her wisdom she shared. She lives with her arms, doors, and heart open. She addresses the changes in sexuality that are no longer subject to as many rules and classifications with gender. She gives us some history of how pronouns started and ended with young people questioning gender and refusing to be classified as male or female and rejected the use of gender-based pronouns in favor of nonbinary ones.
“Language is very important because it can determine the way we think. Words are powerful. Patriarchy benefits from classifying people: it makes it easier to exert control. We automatically accept being placed in categories based on gender, race, age, etc. But many young people are challenging these divisions.”
I have gained so much from reading this book, and I loved it all, from the first page to the graceful and hopeful last page. We can take so much from Isabel Allende and use it in our own lives. She is an inspiration to all women, especially the younger generation, who are the future of this world.
I could go on and on from all the notes I wrote with the things that stood out for me but that would be the whole book. I highly recommend it.
I want to light the torches for our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.” ~ Isabel Allende