As Isabel Allende unravels the life of Eva Luna, the reader gets a true feeling for what her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood were like. Her employers, her thoughts, her dreams, and her country all play significant roles in shaping the extraordinary life of Eva Luna.
Since early childhood, Eva began to become accustomed to work. She was born the daughter of a lower class working woman -- Consuelo. Her father was a gardener at the residence of Professor Jones. The circumstances of her strange conception should have served as an omen of the strange and wonderful life Eva was to lead. As soon as she is old enough, she begins working in the professor's house. To the professor she is practically invisible. When she is not cleaning, she often playes with the professor's petrified animals. A favorite is a large puma on which Eva spends countless hours developing her imagination. Eva also spends much time reading the professor's old, dusty, leather-bound books. From her imagination and the professor's books, Eva begins to spin her first stories. She often trades them to her godmother for the privilege of lying next to her in bed. Her madrina was not only her godmother, but the cook in Professor Jones' house. When Eva grows older her madrina takes her to find a job that paid something.
Eva's childhood and adolescence continues on in this way for a long while. Eva goes from job to job meeting many along the way like her abuela and Huberto Naranjo. She also learnes a number of skills along the way, and all of her encounters serve as fuel for her marvelous stories.
It was not until she is a young woman that the nation and politics play a major role in her life. In her youth, Eva was barely aware of the events that took place in the country around her. This is probably because the changes in the government of her country effected her so little. But eventually, the politics that before only played a role in the background of Eva's life, would involve both her and her close friends.
Her "political life" starts when she reacquaints herself with Huberto Naranjo, who is now known as Comandante Rogelio, an officer in the guerilla movement. Eventually, Eva and Mimi, Eva's companion of past and present, are persuaded into helping the guerillas rescue their imprisoned friends. With Mimi's help, Eva draws upon a skill she learned during her working years and molds Universal Matter into the shape of weapons in order to aid the guerilla cause.
Contrary to the course of many of her stories, the situation resolves itself in a "happy ending," as does Eva Luna's life in the book. She finally finds her mate, Rolf Carle, and a place in life through writing. The book ends with happiness and many more stories ahead for Eva Luna.