Sep 25, 2009 10:47 AM
Imagine being 16 and painfully in love (remember may be a better word). Now imagine being a 16, painfully in love, and pregnant stowaway aboard a ship bound for San Fransisco from Chile in pursuit of your wayward lover, and you'll be able to sympathize with Eliza, the remarkable heroine of Isabel Allende's Daughter of Fortune ($14). Eliza's love, Joachin, left her to get his piece of the 1849 Gold Rush and it becomes her single, encompassing mission to find him again. Aboard the ship Eliza is befriended by Tao Chi'en, a Chinese physician making his way as the ship's cook. Tao understands Eliza's plight and passion - he is a man who once knew the ecstasy of young love, as well as the tragedy of losing it. Daughter of Fortune is a exquisitely crafted, fascinating odyssey spanning cultures, decades, and continents.