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In the Midst of Winter (2017)

by Isabel Allende

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6914623,951 (3.65)25
"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"--… (more)

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English (39)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Even when I just like an Isabel Allende book I have to love her as a writer. Probably the problem, for me, was this story felt mundane and just did not have the life so many of her other works do. I like the characters yet, for an Isabel Allende story, they did not feel fully developed. The story line was every interesting and gave a good picture of the issues confronting immigrants seeking asylum in the United States today. Being set at just a point in time the story, while it successfully conveyed an interesting description of a unexpected event and the resultant impact, left you feeling there was so much more that needed to be said. Not that I didn't enjoy it just felt let down with so many questions unanswered. Do not get me wrong, would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a solid story with interesting characters in a situation in which no one could ever expect to find themselves. ( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
Although I've read a bit about the violence in both Guatemala and Chile, I found it useful to learn more story form. The plot line was thin--I figured out the whodunit quickly--but the revelation of the three stories was compelling . Allende's way with descriptive words is again a high point of the book. She brings you right into the character's head and heart.
Favorite quote: "because in Chile she was crushed by the weight of the familiar, its routines and limitations. Back there she felt she was condemned to be a lonely old woman besieged by pointless memories;" ( )
  beebeereads | Jul 12, 2020 |
I really enjoyed In The Midst of Winter. It tackles heavy issues, but it's written in a way that doesn't weigh heavy on the soul. I really liked how it wove through past and present. But oh, what happened to the poor cat?!
  mxashelynn | May 20, 2020 |
In the Midst of Winter is a novel about three lost souls who come together during a blizzard in January of 2015. When Richard Bowmaster, a NYU professor, accidentally runs into a Lexus driven by a young illegal immigrant, he provides his insurance information and dismisses the mishap, but when Evelyn Ortega shows up at his door, shaken and stuttering, he calls on his downstairs tenant, Lucia, to help him resolve the concern. Once Evelyn reveals her predicament, (the car is her employer's and there is a body in the trunk), these three take on the challenge of trying to help. In the next few days, they all share in the telling of their immigrant stories, and each is a tale of loss and unhappiness. However during this harrowing storm and the quest they undertake, perhaps some kind of happiness can evolve.
This is the first story I've read by this prolific author and perhaps I need to try her famous first novel The House of Spirits, but I was not that impressed with the actual writing except for her ability to weave together a nice plot. Having recently read American Dirt, I was also interested in more descriptions of the journeys that the immigrants suffer in order to try for a better life in a land that is less than welcoming. ( )
  novelcommentary | Mar 25, 2020 |
Three people, each a refugee with a back story, meet in New York and have an adventure together. The main events seem rather improbable, but the backstories are very interesting. ( )
  FBGNewbies | Mar 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un ete invincible.
- - Albert Camus
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To Roger Cukras, for unexpected love
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At the end of December 2015 winter had not yet reached Brooklyn.
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"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"--

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