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The Japanese Lover (2015)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,545968,920 (3.69)69
"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"--… (more)
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» See also 69 mentions

English (92)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Good story. Learned about Japan and concentration camps here in the U.S. ( )
  avdesertgirl | Aug 22, 2021 |
I received an advanced copy of this at the end of the Summer and I could not put it down. What an amazing tale. I have only great things to say about this story. My only regret is that it seemed to end too soon. I could have lived in this world for at least another few weeks. I will not provide a synopsis of the story or give any spoilers - I don't believe in that. Trust me - buy this book. If you liked other Allende books, you will love this one. This is one of my top favorite books of the year. Try it. ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |
Isabel Allende throws a whole lot of stuff at the wall here. Some of it sticks, and she had me going for quite awhile, but in the end it was a bit of a mess, rife with stereotypes and two-dimensional characters. A sort of Same Time Next Year meets The Karate Kid, with the Holocaust, Down's Syndrome, child pornography, and AIDS thrown in for good measure, The Japanese Lover just didn't work. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I was not impressed with this book -- too many different story lines that all could have warranted their own novel, but instead none got the attention to detail it needed. Little exploration of the obvious -- two survivors of different persecutions and their love, but that similarity appears completely lost on them. The angle of aging was well done but then appeared rather rushed at the end. If some of these points were to suggest a plot development, the suggestion was so subtle that it probably was lost on most readers. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
This is a quiet romantic story, but is in no way a romance novel. It’s a beautifully told story about the love between and the long lives of a Polish Jewish girl escaping the Nazis and a Japanese boy, who for years is detained in a WWII concentration camp; a forbidden love in California. Told mainly from the perspective of an immigrant girl from Moldova, she has her own painful story to tell. Excellent narration. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Dec 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (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.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Caistor, NickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, AmandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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"--

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