99 pages 3 hours read

Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1982

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Chapter 13-EpilogueChapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 13 Summary: “The Terror”

Content Warning: This section of the guide contains references to sexual assault and graphic violence

Jaime is summoned to the presidential palace, where the President informs him that the navy has revolted. Jaime calls Alba and asks her to stay home and to inform Amanda. Over the course of the day the military takes over, and the guardsmen at the palace abandon their posts to join their commander. The President refuses an offer from the leader of the coup to escape the country with his family, saying, “The people put me here and the only way I’ll leave is dead” (409). Airplanes bomb the palace, leaving it in ruins and killing and wounding many in the process. Eventually an officer asks the people remaining there to surrender and exit the building; the President goes last and is never seen alive again.

The soldiers capture and beat Jaime. At the barracks where he is held, a soldier whose mother Jaime treated is kind to him. However, his captors eventually leave him to starve for days alongside the rest of the prisoners; they then shoot the prisoners, Jaime included, dynamiting their bodies to remove all evidence.

Esteban celebrates the coup, unaware of what is happening to Jaime.