Book Review: The Sum of Our Days

Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family, tied together by the love, strong will, and stubborn determination of a beloved matriarch, the indomitable New York Times bestselling author of The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende.

Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of the tragic death of her daughter, Paula. Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, this remarkable memoir is as exuberant and as full of life as its creator. Allende bares her soul while sharing her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory—and recounts stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her and lovingly embraces as a new kind of family.


I’ve read 58 books this year but this is somehow the first one I’ve sat down to review. It’s a lovely memoir in the way only a memoir of someone completely different from you can be. Allende and I have very little in common, not only in our ages and phase in life but in our cultures and outlooks, that being said we have one strong thread in common and that is our views on the importance of family, and that thread is the reason I loved this book so much.

You see, I like sweeping family epics in fiction, but I like them even more in non-fiction. Families vary so much, there are so many factors to take into consideration when it comes to how they treat each other. But seeing how families so different from yours also cast aside their problems and come together to love and support one another is vital. It helps us gather a truer vision of the world.

There is more than just a sweeping family saga in this book, you learn a lot more about Allende, but her role as her family’s matriarch is the theme that holds this book together and makes it so enjoyable.

For that reason I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I read a lot more books than I review on here, to see my full reading list and ratings visit my Goodreads account here– and don’t be shy! Add me as a friend!

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