Daughter of Fortune Additional Summary

Isabel Allende


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Daughter of Fortune introduces readers to a young woman named Eliza Sommers, who, shortly after being born, was placed on the doorstep of Rose and Jeremy Sommers’s home in Valparaiso, Chile. Even though Eliza was an orphan, Miss Rose brought her up as if she were her own daughter and assured her that she was of British blood, as were all the Sommerses. Rose and Jeremy were unmarried siblings who came to Valparaiso when Jeremy acquired a position as the director of the British Import and Export Company. Rose supported this claim of British heritage with a story about the day they found Eliza on the doorstep. According to Miss Rose, Eliza was found in a beautifully adorned basket beneath an intricately handwoven blanket that only wealthy people could afford. Eliza, who has a memory of magical proportions, remembers being found in a soapbox covered with a wool sweater that smelled of cigar and the sea. Mama Fresia, the Sommers’s cook, Eliza’s first friend, and her companion in the world of Magical Realism, verifies Eliza’s version. However, Rose’s version turns out to carry some validity as well.

It is not long before Eliza falls in love with Joaquin Andieta, a Hispanic clerk who works for Jeremy’s company. Their love affair is filled with angst, secret meetings, and clandestine plans; this is because the social order places Hispanic people well below those of pure European ancestry, keeping them in destitute poverty and just above the native South Americans, who are not seen as people at all. Rose was grooming Eliza to marry a wealthy man of European descent; therefore, Eliza’s relationship with Joaquin is taboo. Eliza, however, puts all of her faith in Joaquin, who seems to love his socialist ideals more...

(The entire section is 712 words.)

Part 1 Summary

(Novels for Students)

Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune begins with the narrator recalling the details of Eliza Sommers's arrival at the home of Rose and...

(The entire section is 634 words.)

Part 2 Summary

(Novels for Students)

Joaquín decides that he must travel to the United States to make his fortune. He and Eliza have been meeting clandestinely, and she mourns...

(The entire section is 549 words.)

Part 3 Summary

(Novels for Students)

Eliza regains her strength and begins her search for Joaquín. In her costume as a boy, she takes on the identity of Joaquín's brother....

(The entire section is 238 words.)