Monday, October 30, 2017

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.—Albert Camus
In the middle of a blizzard, Richard is moved to shed his twenty-five year long isolation and dares to love again, guided by Lucia, who has lost everything several times but still takes a chance on love.

What brings them together is Evelyn, an undocumented alien, the loving caretaker of a boy with Cerebral Palsy whose parents' toxic relationship and troubled lives has left her knowing more than is safe for her to know.

The trio resolve to undertake a dangerous mission to protect Evelyn, a journey into a silent landscape of deep snow and journeys to their pasts.

Isabel Allende's In the Midst of Winter is a story of rebirth, forgiveness, and love. The character's back stories take up the most space, told piecemeal in long chapters between the action.

Lucia is an immigrant, a professor, who escaped Chile when her brother's involvement with a gang led to his death and made her life unsafe. Lucia is a character women will love. Evelyn is an illegal alien from Guatemala who also took the dangerous journey to America to save her life. Both women understand what it is like for a loved one to simply disappear.

Richard is Lucia's boss at New York University and had invited her to be a visiting professor. He rents Lucia a basement room. He has lived in a winter world ever since the loss of his baby to SIDS left his wife severely depressed. Richard drank and partied his sorrows away. A tragic accident took their remaining child's life, and later he lost his wife.

I felt sympathy for the characters and appreciated Allende addressing the violence that causes most of today's immigration to America. She demonstrates the horrors that force people to leave their homeland and family and give a face to illegal immigrants. Allende's passion for the plight of women and children is evident throughout the novel.

The novel shows that in the midst of great disappointment and pain people can find new life, that the possibility of love can come unexpectedly. The love story between Richard and Lucia is very beautiful.

I was not a fan of how the story was presented. The characters tell their stories to each other, but the authorial voice is telling the reader, not the characters.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

In the Midst of Winter
Isabel Allende
Atria Books
ISBN 9781501178139


Read an excerpt of the novel at
https://www.isabelallende.com/en/book/winter/excerpt

Read about The Isabelle Allende Foundation which supports MILES Chile’s efforts in human rights,  promoting respect for people independent of race, creed, ethnicity, political ideology, gender, ability, sexual orientation and age:
https://isabelallende.org