In the Midst of Winterby Published 02 Nov 2017
|In the Midst of Winter.pdf|
|Publisher||Simon Schuster Audio UK|
New York Times and 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.
"In the Midst of Winter" Reviews
IN THE MIDST OF WINTER
MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️
PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster Audio
PUBLISHED November 2, 2017
A relevant and lyrical novel that runs the gamut of emotions, blending humor, tragedy, depression and love.
IN THE MIDST OF WINTER begins with a minor traffic accident on a snowy morning in Brooklyn. Richard Bowmaster, a depressed 60-year-old human rights professor slides on the snow into the rear a white Lexus causing some minor damage. The Lexus is driven by Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented Guatemala immigrant who works as a nanny for a New York gangster. She immediately drives off, as Richard throw his business card through her window. The accident takes a serious turn when Evelyn shows up on Richard’s doorstep later that evening in immense distress and uncommunicative. Not knowing what to do, Richard calls his downstairs tenant Lucia Maraz, a 62-year-old visiting professor from Chile, for help. After several hours, Richard and Lucia are finally able to understand the full extent of Evelyn’s plight regarding the accident and they agree to help her. Later the next day the three travel together to upstate New York in an attempt to resolve Evelyn’s issue. During this trip the story branches into the backstories for each of three protagonists. The backstories, a significant part of the novel takes the reader to Guatemala, Chile and Brazil. Ultimately, a charming unexpected love story develops between Richard and Lucia, who both had given up on ever finding love again.
ISABEL ALLENDE has artfully woven a lyrical novel running the gamut of emotions. This spellbinding novel creatively blends humor, tragedy, depression and love. It takes us places we have never been and shows us things we have never seen. The backstories for each of the three protagonists are tragic, yet here they are in New York trudging though the snow and helping a stranger. The novel is informative and revealing, and at the same time gives us hope, that after the worst thing that could ever happen to you happens, good may ultimately follow, in the most unexpected circumstances.
Lucia’s character was adorable and steals the show, she is feisty and full spunk. She sums up this amazing story when she tells Richard, “Enough wallowing in the sorrows of the past. The only cure for so much misfortune is love.” Richard, on the other hand, adds much levity to the story by his eccentricities and his stomach problems. Evelyn, is in a word, resilient. She has been through more than we can imagine and she still manages to show care and compassion for others. All three diverse characters uniquely come together to form the perfect ensemble in a most relevant book.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
- Albert Camus
With this book, Isabel Allende returns to subject matter that made her reputation as a premier storyteller. Invoking elements of magic realism into a powerful story of political terrorism. The title In the Midst of Winter holds a double meaning. The action of the present day which forms the framework, takes place during the Snowzilla called Jonas in January, 2016, but it also refers to the promise of summer in an ice bound land of old age.
Richard Bowmaster, an NYU professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies has built a fort around his heart, believing that his personal life is in deep freeze. Living out his day with his four cats in a Prospect Park brownstone in Brooklyn, he neither feels nor seeks stimulation believing that part of his life has passed. Lucia Maraz, a visiting professor from Chile, is also in deep freeze, shivering in his basement apartment -- both find their lives permanently changed when Evelyn Ortega, a young Guatemalan woman, bangs on Richard's door following a fender bender during the blizzard. These three, along with a "chihuahua dressed like Sherlock Holmes," find themselves on an adventure none of them would ever think of attempting on their own, but in the sharing of their histories, they forge life long bonds. Ms. Allende's skills are in full bloom here. Each story, told in incremental portions, is riveting and powerful. From Evelyn's flight from the Northern Triangle of Central America ("...the most violent part of the world not at war."), to life in Santiago, Chile during the military coup of 1973 (which Allende experienced first hand), to human trafficking in today's USA.
There is an interesting timeline here: Allende began this book in January 2015, as is her habit. But in today's world, it couldn't be more timely. I've heard her say that she writes employing her first language Spanish, and her books are first published in that language, and not in English until the same partner she has been using for over 30 years completes the translation. That would mean that this was accomplished before the current administration's xenophobic acts had been implemented.
Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Publishing Group for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Que livro fantástico. Adorei
Opinião completa: http://marcadordelivros.blogspot.pt/2...
I'm a fan of several of Allende's earlier books and this one seemed so promising at the start . Two fascinating, heartbreaking stories of Lucia and Evelyn both making their way to the US from horrific circumstances from two different places and two different times. They become connected through Richard whose story was intriguing and heartbreaking in its own right.
Richard is a university professor, landlord, acquaintance, and employer of Lucia , originally from Chili and a visiting lecturer. Evelyn is a young woman from Guatemala working as a Nanny. Their three lives converge when during an awful snow storm in Brooklyn, Richard's car hits the car that Evelyn is driving. It is when the three of them are together that we get the stories of their pasts. I really liked each of these characters, and was taken by their experiences, but what didn't work for me was the present circumstances that keep these three characters connected over the course of several days. That part of the narrative just felt contrived and in some way it took away from the importance and gravity of the issues covered here - the horrible experiences of Evelyn in fleeing poverty and drugs and gang violence in Guatemala. Her story as a refugee was so relevant, and I was most drawn in to what happened with her. Lucia, too had a tough life with precarious political situations in Chili.
I can't give it more than three stars because of the thing I couldn't quite buy which made this a little disappointing. Thanks once again to Esil and Diane whose thoughts on the books we've read together are so much appreciated, as well as the ones we don't read together.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Atria through NetGalley.
It's frustrating to read a book that feels like it could be so much better. Isabel Allende's latest book, In The Midst Of Winter, has a lot of promise but as it turns out I felt like it delivered a fairly disjointed uneven narrative. Lucia is a 62 year old Chilean, living temporarily in New York. Richard is Lucia's landlord, and he had lived for many years in Brazil. Evelyn is from Guatemala. One stormy night, Lucia, Richard and Evelyn are thrown together, and they end up telling each other their life stories. So Allende structures this one to be three stories within the story of what brings these three characters together. Unfortunately, it doesn't hang together very well. Parts of the characters' back stories -- especially Evelyn's and to a lesser extent Lucia's -- are deeply moving. They highlight the realities of what has brought so many people to leave their home countries to move the the U.S. -- no doubt a timely topic. But the event that brings these three characters together and keeps them together feels almost farcical. The lightness doesn't mesh well with the darkness. It feels like Allende had a good story to tell about the different experiences of immigrants, but not enough work went into polishing this one so it stands well as a novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy. Thanks also to Diane and and Angela for the experience of reading this together -- the buddy read aspect made this one much better than it would have been otherwise.