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Published by Atria Books on November 3rd 2015
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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.
When Isabel Allende’s THE JAPANESE LOVER debuted, it became an instantNew York Times bestseller. Critics and readers are falling in love with the story, which centers around a clandestine love affair that lasts nearly seventy years and with good reason. THE JAPANESE LOVER is a stunning novel of love, sacrifice, and redemption.
Take a look at what the critics are saying:
- Named Best Fiction of 2015 by Publishers Weekly
- Named The Book of the Month by The Washington Post
- Named The Book of the week by People Magazine
- Named One of the best books of November by Bustle.com
“A story of genuine and refreshing generosity. Allende manages to blend domestic comedy, historical fiction, mystery, romance and even a note of fantasy to create a novel that’s a pleasure to recommend.” –The Washington Post
“Like the incomparable storyteller she is, Isabel Allende does not release us from the novel’s spell until the last pages, with a brief but bittersweet hint of her famed magical realism.” –Miami Herald
“With her engaging new novel, The Japanese Lover, Allende brings us a tale at once global and rooted deeply in Bay Area history, sweeping through time and across continents to explore the inner lives of two very different women in contemporary California.” –The San Francisco Chronicle
“It is to Allende’s credit that she manages to make this unlikely romance, with all its twists and turns, both believable and affecting.” –The Boston Globe
“Yet she is a dazzling storyteller, with a wry, sometimes dark, wit and a great eye for society’s changing fashions. She may be writing a fairy tale for adults, but like the best of the genre, it’s almost irresistible.” –The Associated Press
Watch a video where Isabel Allende discusses The Japanese Lover, and pick up your copy today!