I was a big fan of the Oprah Winfrey show. I watched every day that I could and I was truly interested in her book club. Of all the books that were suggested and offered for conversation, DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE by Isabel allende grabbed my attention. As of today I cannot tell you why but it did. But I do love historical novels. Anything it takes me out of my present day into another era time and place.
I purchased the book and started in on it right away. It only took me three or four days to finish it. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. The story of a young woman who is obviously of native born indian/Chilean ancestery as well as having British DNA was captivating. Eliza Sommers was her name. She had been left on the doorstep of Miss Rose and Jeremy Sommers, Jeremy being the owner of an export company in Chile. His sister Rose cared for the child meticulously and of course there was Mama Fresia The housekeeper and caregiver for Eliza Who always let Eliza now that it was obvious that she had Indian blood running through her veins. She taught her many of the life lessons that she needed to know in that respect. I have to say I was totallly enamored with this book. Couldn’t put it down.
So I believe it must’ve been about 4 AM on a Thursday morning when I finally finished reading DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE. I didn’t want to get to the end I would read a bit and put it down. Read another page or two and put it down. And finally gave in. As soon as I was done I went to Oprah’s book club website and wrote my assessment and feelings about the book. It was SO emotional. What I wrote. I felt so connected to the character. Her passion and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles on that ship. A stowaway. Going to America alone . Wow. What was so marvelous about Eliza was that she fell in love with a rebel! A renegade. Totally and unabashedly in love. So when she was able she found her way onto the ship headed from Chile to San Francisco because when she-asked where he could’ve gone and how she could find him she was told he had to leave Chile and had hopped a ship to America. San Francisco to be exact. She took that journey. Stowing away. Hiding. And not knowing that she was pregnant. Lucky for her the Chinese gentleman who was the head-cook found her in very bad shape and nursed her back to health after she had obviously miscarried on the ship. And how he protected her was to have her dress as a young boy. His assistant. She stayed close to him. But after became obvious that her romance was not to be in the story continued to unfold in unexpected ways. I have to say I was lost in that world. So I wrote to the book club at about four or 4:30 AM. By 930 I had an email asking questions about who I was what I did where I lived etc.
I was absolutely shocked! I answered. And then I was asked if I would be interested and willing to talk about the book at dinner on a filming of Oprah’s book club TV conversations About the novel. Of course I wanted to do it. But I had a fear that I would not be accepted because I was a well-known person in the entertainment field as a part of sweet honey in the rock. I asked them if they knew who I was. Yes they did. It wouldn’t have bearing On whether or not I would be Accepted. It didn’t matter to them. They thought it was a great twist. What I wrote was passionate honest and from the heart. And I was In.
I had already met and worked with Oprah during the filming of Toni Morrisons award winning exquisite novel BELOVED. And it was being directed by Jonathan Demme. Sweethoney was a part of the group of 30 women who appeared at the end of the movie. So we had scene work with her, and she was very familiar with the group and I guess you could say she was a bit of a fan. When we on that on the set she was extremely happy to see us.
When I showed up on the set we talked for a bit. Very comfortable very easy. She was remembering our work together on the movie. And that felt really good.
And I also have to make note that meeting Isabel was incredible. I actually by The time of the filming I had read the book 3 times all the way through. Meeting her with such an honor. Being with her at the dinner table absolutely blew my mind. Knowing that we were going to be on television talking about this great novel with the author and miss Winfrey is such a fine and powerful memory highlight and experience for me.
Honored To have been in many numbers on many-occasions for many reasons.
God is good.
Oprah’s book club daughter of fortune by Isabel Allende
Dinner with Oprah and Isabel
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