The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
The House of the Spirits The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
By way of a series of discreet inquiries, they managed to obtain her earthly address and arrived at her door with decks of cards impregnated with beneficent liquids, several sets of geometrical figures and mysterious tools of their own invention for unmasking fake parapsychologists, and a tray of ordinary pastries as a gift for Clara. They became intimate friends, and from that day on they met every Friday to summon spirits and exchange recipes and premonitions. (4.72)
The extraordinary comes in with the ordinary when the Mora sisters appear – they bring both mystical tools and ordinary pastries, and exchange both premonitions and recipes. It's kind of great how the magical and the real are portrayed side by side in this novel, huh?
As for Clara, she went everywhere with her daughter hanging from her skirts. She included her in the Friday sessions and raised her in the greatest intimacy with spirits… (4.95)
Here's an example of how the theme of spirituality is wrapped up in the idea of domesticity and family life in the novel – the most spiritually active setting of the book is Clara's domain in the big house on the corner. (There's a reason why this book is called The House of the Spirits, after all. Check out "What's Up with the Title?")
Everyone who witnessed the moment agrees that it was almost eight o'clock at night when Férula appeared without the slightest warning. They all saw her in her starched blouse, with her ring of keys at her waist and her old maid's bun, exactly as they had always seen her in the house […] it had been six years since they last saw her and she looked very pale and a great deal older. (5.20)
The narrator emphasizes that everyone sees Férula's ghost, even the twins, who have been isolated from their mother's spiritual exercises. She wants us to take this ghostly apparition seriously – we can't just chalk it up to Clara's overactive imagination.