99 pages 3 hours read

Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1982

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Character Analysis

Alba de Satigny

Alba de Satigny is Esteban and Clara’s granddaughter and one of the narrators of the story. She is the product of Blanca’s affair with Pedro Tercero; however, on account of Blanca marrying the count when she is pregnant, Alba receives his surname. Alba’s grandmother predicts at her birth that she will have a happy life.

Alba represents the third generation of del Valle women around whom the story revolves. She inherits her “otherworldly” great-aunt Rosa’s green hair—one of many signs that Alba is special in some way. She is doted on by her family and grows up surrounded a cast of varied and eccentric characters: Clara, Blanca, her uncles (Jaime and Nicolás), and her grandfather. Alba’s relationships with her mother and grandmother are especially strong, bonded together as they are by the practice of telling stories. As a young child, Alba begins to write and record stories, just as her own grandmother once did; fortuitously, this shared habit comes to Alba’s aid many years later.

Besides her family, Alba’s most important relationship is with Miguel. The two form an instant connection, much like her own parents and grandparents did. Alba’s love for Miguel leads her to support him in his political activity—an endeavor that leads to her eventual arrest and torture at Colonel García’s hands.