[BONUS] Jen Hatmaker Book Club ft. Violeta by Isabel Allende

Jen and Isabel Allende discuss her novel, Violeta, and why Allende makes her bold choices in characters, events, and settings. Allende shares her fascinating personal background – born in Peru, living as a refugee, and eventually immigrating to the U.S. where she began her writing career.

Allende explains how Violeta’s story was inspired by her own mother’s life and letters, which Allende has meticulously preserved over decades. The author discusses how Violeta’s complicated romantic relationships and experiences of political upheaval mirror Allende’s own life.

Particularly compelling moments include:

  • Allende’s description and showing of the extensive archive of her mother’s letters
  • The author’s insights on the challenges women writers face, having to work harder than men to achieve respect
  • Allende’s personal experiences with family tragedy that informed the novel
  • The author’s delight in crafting the “villain” character of Julián, as well as the beloved nanny character based on Allende’s own housekeeper

Overall, you’ll hear a dynamic conversation between Jen and Isabel on life, love, and loss.