'In the Midst of Winter' shows Allende at the top of her form, applying her brilliant, sensory prose to a whirlwind of destinations in the Americas, from the gray streets of Santiago to a small indigenous village in Guatemala, a New York City snowstorm to bright, boisterous Rio de Janeiro.

And as a result, it’s a beautiful book — honest and clear, funny and sad, painful to read at times and gorgeous at others.

The novel shines when it shifts its focus toward Adam and Marissa’s attempts to deal with questions of love and choice while they are both at rock bottom.

Is there still a place for such stories in the modern canon?

More than anything, it’s the human insight and empathy Allende imbues her characters with that grounds the story.

Spooky poetry is fun anytime, anywhere, but Halloween offers many advantages if you want to get really extra about it.

Even the final pages of 'Voices in the Dark' are doused in chilling mystery.

There are a ton of different haunted house stories out there. The reason I’m choosing to focus on this one is because it’s a great example of horror literature, and there’s no better time to talk about horror literature than Halloween season.

They are eccentric, erratic, sometimes ecstatic.

It seems that the point is less to declare a true and definite winner, and more to examine the interesting manifestations of this conflict.