November Library Reads
October 8, 2015
The list is out and includes some really interesting selections, including one (The Muralist) that had gotten so-so professional reviews but has clearly been well-received among the library world’s advance readers. We had also not ordered The Girl with Ghost Eyes much in advance but those two are being ordered now in print (thanks, Acquisitions!) and we’ll attend to formats. The “favorite” is indeed an affecting read by a beloved author, Isabel Allende, who in spite of being fluent in English and living in the US for decades still prefers to write in Spanish first and have her books translated. She explains why on her website. By the way, did you know her uncle was Salvador Allende, the Chilean President deposed by Pinochet on September 11th, 1973? Such an experience could be part of the explanation for her penchant for resilient characters.
We do have an ARC of the Muralist if someone is interested. Please comment to claim and we’ll get it to you but it may take some days.
From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family-like thousands of other Japanese Americans-are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits , The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.