SUMMARY Ó El amante japonés

SUMMARY El amante japonés

SUMMARY Ó El amante japonés Ù 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 uiet and gentle son of the family's Japanese gardener Unnoticed byHarbor 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 worldDecades later Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life I. Imagine for a moment being 8 years old My 8 year old memory includes loss My father and both grandparents were no longer living That 8 year old memory includes loss of the new custom home my parents built that we were about to move in a week before he diedthen a week later a major flood mud slide destroyed every house all new developments'except' ours However my mother backed outand never moved us into that new home I remember feelings of fear when we first moved into an apartment complex Now imagine the loss for 8 year old Alma Mendel in Isabel Allende's book The Japanese LoverAlma remembers loss of her 'mother' and 'country' Her mother was worried about invasion in Poland and sends her to America to live with her sister Alma grows up in San Francisco in a wealthy family 'the Belascos' It was there when she first met Ichimei Fukuda also 8 years old Ichimei was was the gardeners youngest son They become young childhood friends The relationship between Alma and Ichimei is complicated with years of changes and aging Ichimei was sent to the Japanese internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harborwhile Alma lives with freedom There are love letters between Alma and Ichimei Alma reads them over and over Yet there are other friendships and interests reminding me how the aging cycles are like suares of history on a uilt each suare telling a different story Irina also experienced loss at a young agehaving immigrated from Soviet Moldavia Irina Alma both Jewish both immigrants may be separated by approx 40 years in agebut they shared a similar story The Japanese Lover is primarily Alma's story yet both women had secrets painful memories Alma's cousin Nathaniel and a friend Lenny will explain some of those secrets soon enough Irina becomes Alma's assistant with the help of Alma's grandson Seth an unfolding of past history comes to the surface While Irina and Seth work together a relationship between them is growinga new love story emerging Isabel Allende's new novel takes place mostly in an upscale assisted living type complex in San Francisco called 'The Lark House' Flashback style storytelling Alma is in her 80's is a talented artist wealthy and healthy Isabel is is in her 20's charming and popular attending to the elderly residents As in a past recent novel Ripper we see the terrific sense of humor Isabel Allende has Her 'very' contemporary novel Ripper also took place in SF with very uirky hysterical characters In 'The Lark House' we see a little of 'the hippie' generation again and enjoy some uirky old geezers Not to fear though for traditional 'oldie' fans of Allendethis book is not Ripper probably her most controversial bookwith many negative reviews yet I gave it a 'very high' review as I thought it was kick ass FUN This novel has plenty of scrumptious details with strong complex characters staggering storytelling 'family separationabandonment' love loss death a love story and themes of aging not for the weak Long time Isabel Allende fans often forget The Bay Area has been Isabel's home for most of her adult years She hasn't been primarily a Chilean novelist for many years I've enjoyed her varied books From New Orleans to a lost teenager in Berkeley etc I'm ready for just about anything this tiny powerhouse woman throws my wayThe biggest change in Isabel's writing was after her daughter Paula died In that autobiography Paula which she wrote 'while' her daughter was ill was the most amazing story packed filled with childhood memories of Isabel growing up in her country History about her families political roles etc Plus Isabel has always been a letter writer from way back beginning with years of correspondence with her own mother Another autobiography maybe my favorite is The Sums of Our Days This book was the biggest treat after having read most of her fiction books old newbecause we 'really' get to know Isabel like 'no' other book she has written I love this lady a little shorter than me a little older than me3 times I've gone to hear her speak Always a packed filled room bursting at the seams She's a 'true' international 'novelist star' Much to be admired about this woman's humanity In The Japanese Lover You'll find for your a minimum daily reading reuirement enjoymentRich charactersa reflective historical journeywith luscious language What's not to like

Isabel Allende ✓ 1 SUMMARY

Rina 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 year. When I started reading Isabel Allende's The Japanese Lover I liked it well enough but I wasn't feeling anything special I think I was suffering a bit from the high expectations that come with reading a book by Allende But as I got deeper into it I found myself really drawn in by the story and characters It doesn't have the intense richness of The House of Spirits or some of Allende's other books set in Latin America but Allende's particular ability to weave characters and their stories and history together is very recognizable The Japanese Lover deals with the parallel stories of Irina and Alma Irina is in her 20s and works in a retirement home in San Francisco She grew up in Moravia with her grandparents until age 12 after which she was sent to live in Texas with her mother and stepfather and as the story develops you realize that she has a difficult complicated past Alma is in her 80s and a resident in the retirement home and was sent by her parents to San Francisco from Poland just before WWII and she too has a complicated past The book is about the stories of these two women and their friendship For Alma this is a story about coming to terms with her past at the end of her life and for Irina it is about overcoming her past so she can move one The story moves back and forth in time and true to Allende's engagement with politics and history she effectively uses a few significant historical events around the globe as a backdrop Alma and Irina's stories are complex and at times verge on being disjointed and scattered but this is a minor criticism What I really liked most about the book is that Alma and Irina are great characters They are strong flawed scarred recognizable kind and ultimately defy stereotypes If you have read and loved earlier books by Allende don't read this one looking for the richness of those books because you might be disappointed But if you read The Japanese Lover on its own terms taking the story as it comes hopefully you have the same experience I did of being drawn in by Irina and Alma and their stories Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy


El amante japonésIn 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 uiet 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. I fell in love with Isabel Allende's writing when I was in high school I still remember the first sentence of the first book I ever read of her's Barrabas came to us by sea At the time Allende wrote sweeping historical novels that predominately took place in her native land Chile Yet her writing style changed in the many years she has been in the United States branching out to write crime novels and even some books geared toward young adults The passion she wrote with in books like House of the Spirits and Eva Luna had been lost With The Japanese Lover for me the epic multigenerational passionate novel has been rekindled Here we meet Alma Belasco nee Mendel an octogenarian who is living out the rest of her days in Lark House retirement center in San Francisco Assigned to her is young Irina Bazili who becomes her personal aid and assistant The parallels between the two women is that they are both immigrants who fled Eastern Europe as young children to escape horrid conditions Alma from the ravages of the Holocaust and Irina from post communist Romania Both women are somehow haunted by their past and it takes nearly the entire novel for them to trust each other enough to confide their secrets with one another In 1940s America interracial romance was taboo Young Alma Mendel had been in love with Ichimei Fukada the son of her family's gardener from the time they were both eight years old From that moment on Alma wanted to marry Ichimei but knew that they shared a forbidden love Allende also touches on this theme with two other couples Ichimei's sister Mugami and Boyd as well as Irina and Alma's grandson Seth in present time It is obvious to me that this is an issue that effects Allende strongly In the end Alma realizes that she and Ichimei would have to live apart in their various communities and ends up marrying her cousin Nathaniel Belasco It is Ichimei however whose love endures for her entire life In present times Alma's grandson Seth has decided to write a book about his grandmother's life while she is still lucid enough to share her memories He enlists Irina to share this task and falls in love with her immediately Irina then has to confront her own grimy past which becomes the novel's subplot When Alma finally decides to tell Seth and Irina about her and Ichimei's relationship one afternoon in Lark House I realized that Allende has rekindled the magic that I grew to love with her first sweeping novels Flashbacks interspersed with present times with the reader captivated until the end This is the Allende that I fell in love with when I read House of the Spirits for the first time The Japanese Lover is almost at that same level of magical realism I hope as Allende enters the twilight of her own writing career that the magic spark is here to stay I am looking forward to her next epic novel and highly recommend this one to all