The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
This book definitely contains a lot of sex. All kinds of sex. There's married sex, teenage sex, prostitution of the gay and straight varieties, true love sex, group sex, and even sex with a dead body. With that being said, we need to get a bit serious and point out that the sex is not all fun, and not all wanted. There's quite a bit of rape in this novel, which is heartily condemned by various characters and by at least one of the narrators. Esteban Trueba does some despicable things, and by raping dozens of young women he ends up sewing hatred and reaping violence against his own descendents. This darker side of sex can be hard to handle, especially when it involves children or sexual torture, but we think that it serves a purpose – the text warns the reader against the perpetuation of sexual violence and advocates a society in which rape does not occur.