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The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
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The Japanese Lover (2015)

by Isabel Allende

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English (63)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  All (68)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I was really looking forward to this audio book by Isabel Allende. The beginning was fine with introducing the characters Alma Belasco and Irina Bazile. Alma lives at Lark House Nursing Home. I was fascinated by the description of Lark House, how it divided its patients and by the description of Irina Bazili, the new caretaker.

Throughout the story, we go back and forth from the present to the past of the two. Right from the beginning I wanted to listen to the past of Irina Bazili. I really liked her. But the story centered more on Alma. I just did not feel comfortable with her or her actions. Her actions were probably controlled by the cultural roles of the time. There is also a description of the internment of the Japanese during WWII. I have read a lot about the subject and had a college professor tell of her experiences at the camp. I also did a research project on it. I preferred my college professor first person telling of the pain and suffering that she experienced rather than what is in this story. We were all crying in the classroom. The most memorable thing that she said was that before she was interned, she had completely thought of herself as an American and did not understand why she, a girl scout and her family were taken away,

It may be that the translation of this book was not as good as with her other books, but I also had an aversion to the narrator. I felt a haughtiness from either Alma’s character or the tone of the narrator.

I cannot figure it out. I have one other audio book by the same author that I am going to going to try. I am not giving up. ( )
  Carolee888 | Dec 8, 2017 |
One of my favorite authors hits another one out of the park. Allende creates a beautifully intricate story filled with complicated flawed characters. Covering over a century in three families' lives while focusing on a sixty-year love between a Jewish refugee from Poland and the son of a Japanese immigrant. Allende deftly weaves together stories of youth and aging from modern times, WWII Japanese internment camps and French resistance efforts, post-Soviet sex trafficking, and child pornography on the internet. Because I have been reading forever, I am rarely surprised by plot twists and always am delighted when an author manages to do so. I'm in awe of her craft. Allende delivers on writing, plot and character. Highly recommended. ( )
  MarysGirl | Nov 7, 2017 |
Allende’s latest book has been named one of the most anticipated novels of the year. It is a beautiful meditation on growing old and what remains at the end of life. This well crafted love story sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War. Alma Belasco, a famous artist and resident of a home for the elderly, receives flowers and letters from an unknown admirer. Her young caretaker unearths secrets from her past and learns about her escape from Poland and her forbidden love for the son of her family’s Japanese gardener in San Francisco. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are pulled apart. Throughout their lifetimes Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again but their love is forever forbidden. That bond forms the heart of this novel.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Nov 5, 2017 |
The two main characters of this book, Alma Belasco and
Irina Bazili share a hidden past that is slowly revealed during the narrative. Both were immigrants to the United States at an early age. Alma was sent to the USA from Poland at the start of WWII and Irina, age 11, from Moldova followed her estranged mother and step father. Their family circumstances could not have been more different. Alma was surrounded by wealth, love and acceptance whereas Irina hid her secrets while assuming a new identity.
Irina ends up working at Lark House, a retirement home for ageing hippies from the San Francisco area. One of these is Alma who hires Irina independently to help with her business affairs and personal errands. She meets Seth, Alma’s grandson and a friendly relationship develops while they unravel Alma’s past. We learn about the Belasco family, Alma’s early life and her relationship with the Fukuda family.
This is a very well told story with excellent character development and intriguing back stories. The narrative covers several decades of life stories and it shows the trauma that some endured. The incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII is a key point in the story as is inter racial love. Family support, love and acceptance is a focal point and Irina is eventually able to trust her past with Seth.
The ending is a little wish washy but the overall story is well done. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Oct 10, 2017 |
Good storytelling ( )
  BridgitDavis | Oct 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Årets roman, «Den japanske elskeren», plasserer seg rundt midten av Allendes egen skala. Den mangler «Åndenes hus»’ magiske løft, men er spennende nok til å holde på leserens interesse helt ut
 
Anmeldelse: Overveldende ny roman fra Isabel Allende

Har nese for de pussige så vel som trøblete sidene av livet.
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Maya Troberg Djuve (pay site) (Apr 30, 2016)
 
Familiemedlemmene og vennene i «Den japanske elskeren» er mange. Isabel Allende løfter dem alle nennsomt ut og inn fra fortiden og inn i samtiden på Lark House. Det er i lange strekk nydelig gjort, en god roman å lese, dette
added by annek49 | editVG, Guri Hjeltnes (Apr 22, 2016)
 
Unfortunately, love’s intoxication, like the scent of the gardenias Ichimei sends Alma over many years, fails to lift this new novel above its thin plot and weakly motivated ­characters.
 
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Ga niet weg, schuwe schim van mijn geliefde,
Toverbeeld dat ik bovenal adoreer,
Wonderschone illusie voor wie ik graag zou sterven,
Zoete fantasie waarnaar ik bij leven al smacht.

- Sor Juana Inés de la Crux
Pause, shadow of my elusive love, image of my most dear enhanter, Beautiful illusion for whom i die gladly Sweet fiction for whom i live sadly. ---------------Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz
Dedication
Voor mijn ouders Panchita en Ramón,
oude en wijze mensen
To my parents, Panchita and Ramon
First words
Irina Brazili ging bij Lark House aan de slag in 2010, drieëntwintig jaar jong en zonder veel illusies, want al sinds haar vijftiende zwierf ze van stad tot stad als een meisje van twaalf ambachten en dertien ongelukken.
Lark House
When Irina Bazili began working at Lark House in 2010, she was twenty-three years old but already had few illusions about life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende comes an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from present-day San Francisco to Poland and the United States during WWII. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis and the world goes to war, 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 she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family's Japanese gardener, and between them a tender love blossoms. Following Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart when Ichimei and his family - like thousands of Japanese Americans - are declared enemies by the US government and relocated to internment camps. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love 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 older woman and her grandson, Seth, at 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, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. "--… (more)

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