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In the Midst of Winter

by Isabel Allende

6 Reviews

In the Midst of Winter
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Overview

Overview

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

New York Times Bestseller

Worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year-old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz—a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.

Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9781501178139
9781501178139
Publisher:
Atria Books
Atria Books
Publication date:
10/31/2017
Pages:
352
352
Sales rank:
326
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.40(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, and Paula. Her latest novel is The Japanese Lover. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. She lives in California. Her website is IsabelAllende.com.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru
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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

★ 08/28/2017
Grief and loss are transformed into a healing friendship in this fantastic novel from Allende (Zorro). Sixty-year-old scholar Richard Bowmaster and his coworker and tenant, 62-year-old Lucia Maraz, who is a visiting professor at NYU, are faced with a shocking dilemma when a young Guatemalan refugee enters their lives. Set primarily in Brooklyn and upstate New York, the book opens with a minor car collision between Richard and Evelyn Ortega—an undocumented immigrant working for an overbearing employer. Shaken and terrified because she borrowed her employer’s Lexus without his permission, Evelyn comes to Richard’s apartment. Unable to calm her, Richard solicits Lucia to come help and, with a snowstorm raging outside, the three nibble on pot brownies and share stories: Evelyn’s harrowing, tortured childhood at the hands of the MS-13 gang, Lucia’s youth amid the violence of the 1973 Chilean coup. Upon sobering up, Evelyn explains that she cannot return the Lexus, and that there is a dead body in the trunk, presumably murdered by her employer. Richard, having grown up hearing of his father’s escape from the Nazis, has “the idea etched on his mind that to help the persecuted is an inescapable duty.” With the threat that Evelyn could be deported if they notify the authorities, the three quickly plan to dispose of the body in upstate New York, launching a suspenseful, icy adventure. Filled with Allende’s signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, the book delves wonderfully into what it means to respect, protect, and love. (Oct.)

Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews (6)
I’m finding the plot of this book rather difficult to summarize, l ...
I’m finding the plot of this book rather difficult to summarize, likely because there were several stories playing out in the past and present of each character’s life. So here is my best attempt: Three people who are indirectly connected by their previous lives in Central and South America find themselves in a tricky situation, the resolution to which is blurred by their previous experiences and the irreparable harm that would come to one of them if they came forward. This is my first novel by the famous and well-regarded Isabel Allende, and while it didn’t wow me, I found it to be smartly written, and the premise piqued my interest from the onset. Historical fiction is definitely one of my preferred genres, particularly if the subject matter or time period draws me into a culture, time or place of which I know very little. Then I get to enjoy the fictional bits and feel like I’m getting something educational out of it as well. Having read this book, I feel like my perspective on immigration has been widened, and my interest in Central and South America has increased ten-fold. What made this a 3.5 star rather than a 4 star is the developing romance between two of the main characters. While I appreciate the theme of finding love later in life, the connection between Lucia and Richard simply wasn’t there. It didn’t feel believable to me. A friendship and mutual respect? Definitely. Romantic feelings? Absent. It felt like I was being told when I prefer being shown. What made it a 3.5 star rather than a 3 star is the exceptional writing, the degree to which I loved Lucia and the need to know how it all turned out in the end. While the romantic aspect of the book didn’t suit me, everything else about it did. If you like literary and/or historical fiction, this is a great read. If you want a different perspective on immigration and the myriad reasons why people risk their lives to cross the border rather than wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn, this is a great read. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
- Myndia
November 16, 2017
Unique and entertaining
The story of three very different people caught up in a wild adventure is the backdrop for revealing each of their life stories. It is part historical, romance, tragedy, and has subtle humor.
- Anonymous
November 22, 2017
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite writers. She weaves her tale ...
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite writers. She weaves her tale by skillfully drawing the readers deep into her characters' heart, soul, and psyche. In the Midst of Winter tells the life stories of three people -- Lucia, Evelyn, and Richard --- whose lives are irrevocably thrust together on a cold winter day, the impact of which is life altering. Lucia and Evelyn's stories are compelling, and the more you learn about them, the more you love them. Richard is the opposite -- the more you learn of his life story, the less sympathetic you become of him and the traumas buried in his past. However, his contact with these two women, his compassion helping Evelyn, and his evolving friendship with Lucia, thaws the chill of his past, and changes him for the better.
- ElizabethCat
December 3, 2017
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    Hardcover (2)
    In the Midst of Winter
    Pub. Date: 10/31/2017
    Publisher: Atria Books
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    Pub. Date: 10/31/2017
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