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The Resource The Japanese lover : a novel, Isabel Allende ; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson

The Japanese lover : a novel, Isabel Allende ; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson

Label
The Japanese lover : a novel
Title
The Japanese lover
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Isabel Allende ; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson
Creator
Contributor
Author
Translator
Subject
Genre
Language
  • eng
  • spa
  • eng
Summary
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
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2015
Review
  • Themes of lasting passion, friendship, reflections in old age, and how people react to challenging circumstances all feature in Allende’s newest saga, which moves from modern San Francisco back to the traumatic WWII years. As always, her lively storytelling pulls readers into her characters’ lives immediately. Irina Bazili, personal assistant to elderly designer Alma Belasco, suspects her employer has a lover. What else would explain her secretive excursions from her nursing home and the mysterious yellow envelopes arriving in Alma’s mail? Intervening sections reveal the lifelong bond between Alma, a Polish Jewish refugee sent to live with California relatives in 1939, and Ichimei Fukuda, sensitive youngest son of her family’s gardener. Despite many separations over the years, their love remains strong. Descriptions of the Fukudas’ forced internment at a Utah camp, where life continues behind barbed wire, create a memorable impression. Equally haunting is Irina’s painful backstory, which skillfully unfolds. Although not as complex or richly detailed as Allende’s earlier novels, the story has many heartfelt moments, and readers will be lining up for it.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Big publisher push indicates her novel will be reviewed as widely and read by the public as enthusiastically as all of her previous well-received novels. -- Johnson, Sarah (Reviewed 10-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 112, number 3, p30)
  • /*LibraryReads Favorite*/ Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man's inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story. -- Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY. (LibraryReads, November 2015)
  • /* Starred Review */ Allende’s (The House of Spirits ) magical and sweeping tale focuses on two survivors of separation and loss: the elderly, renowned designer Alma Belasco, whose silk-screened creations fuel the family foundation, and her young secretary, mysterious Irina Bazili, who works at the progressive old people’s home, Lark House, where Alma lives. Their narratives, however, go far beyond the retelling of Alma’s remarkable affair with a Japanese gardener’s son, Ichimei Fukuda, its heartbreaking end, and her subsequent marriage to loyal friend Nathaniel—or Irina’s heartbreaking struggle to break free of her haunting past. Allende sweeps these women up in the turmoil of families torn apart by WWII and ravaged by racism, poverty, horrific sexual abuse—and old age, to which Allende pays eloquent attention. “There’s a difference between being old and being ancient,” Irina is told. “It doesn’t have to do with age, but physical and mental health.... However old one is, we need a goal in our lives. It’s the best cure for many ills.” Befitting the unapologetically romantic soul bared here—the poignant letters to Alma from Ichimei are interspersed throughout—love is what endures. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed August 10, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 32, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ When they first met as children in California in the early days of World War II, Alma Belasco and Ichimei Fukuda were inseparable. Alma's Polish family had sent her to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle to ride out the war, while Ichimei's father, the Belascos' groundskeeper, was a respected friend of Alma's uncle. Pearl Harbor and the interment of Japanese Americans separated Alma and Ichimei for years. When they reconnected, friendship turned to passionate love nurtured by the realistic workarounds that stood in place of a life together. Throughout the years, despite spouses and children, the two met whenever possible. But 70-plus years in, Alma's health is failing at the quirky senior citizen facility, Lark House, and her grandson and his sweetheart, Alma's devoted caregiver, are in a race against time to get the full scope of her tender, flawed, enduring love story on paper before it's too late. VERDICT Allende's latest (Maya's Notebook ), a glorious family saga, with its rich cast of decent, complex characters caught up in America's struggles with war, prejudice, AIDS, and society's old taboos that are fast disappearing, is a beautiful tribute to devotion. Readers will do well to savor Allende's literary artistry. [See Prepub Alert, 5/11/15; No. 1 November LibraryReads Pick.]— Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI --Beth Andersen (Reviewed November 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 18, p78)
  • Honored last year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her inspiring fiction and soul-baring memoirs, Allende (Ripper, 2014, etc.) offers a saga of a couple that keeps its affair secret for the better half of a century. One of the lovers, Alma Belasco (nee Mendel), was barely 8 years old when her Polish parents, fearing rumors of war could prove true, sent her to live with her wealthy American uncle and aunt in San Francisco; bereft yet stoical when she arrives at Sea Cliff, she found allies who were destined to become "her life's only loves": her shy but devastatingly handsome and uber-intuitive cousin Nate Belasco; and her childhood playmate Ichimei Fukado, the charismatic son of the Belascos' gardener, whose family was sent to an internment camp following the attack on Pearl Harbor. That this trio will ultimately help sort each other out is foregone, though how and when is not immediately clear. Allende prolongs the suspense, sprinkling Ichi's soulful letters to Alma into the narrative of her postwar career as a textile artist with an outwardly perfect marriage and her abrupt decision to move out of the family estate into a Spartan room at Lark House—a slightly whackadoodle senior living residence that was bequeathed to the city by a chocolate magnate. At times Allende's glib humor misfires ("I get them hooked on a TV series, because nobody wants to die before the final episode," quips a member of the cleaning staff) or seems stunningly off-key ("Mexico greeted them with its well-known clichés"). Some readers may wince at a closeted gay character's soft-serve admission: "Hearts are big enough to contain love for more than one person." But among the white ponytailed hipsters and yoga-practicing widows at the senior center, Alma stands out—she's haughty and self-centered and, after decades in the rag trade, "[dresses] like a Tibetan refugee." She's also a bit of a yenta: she deploys her part-time secretary, Irina (a doughty 23-year-old Romanian émigré), and grandson Seth (Irina's love-struck suitor) to put her letters, diaries, documents, and other detritus in order. Then she toodles off in her tiny car every few weeks with a small overnight bag. Packed with silk nightgowns. Could this 80-something woman actually be meeting a lover, wonders Irina (who is grappling with some secret baggage of her own)? Just you wait. Vividly and pointedly evoking prejudices "unconventional" couples among the current-day elderly faced (and some are still battling), Allende, as always, gives progress and hopeful spirits their due.(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10446059
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Allende, Isabel
Dewey number
863/.64
Index
no index present
LC call number
PQ8098.1.L54
LC item number
A67513 2015
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1948-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Caistor, Nick
  • Hopkinson, Amanda
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Older women
  • Love in old age
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Japanese Americans
  • Family secrets
  • San Francisco (Calif.)
Target audience
adult
Label
The Japanese lover : a novel, Isabel Allende ; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Originally published as El Amante Japonés in 2015 in Spain by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U."--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Extent
321 pages
Isbn
9781501116995
Lccn
2015028338
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 915943374
  • (OCoLC)915943374
Label
The Japanese lover : a novel, Isabel Allende ; translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson
Publication
Note
"Originally published as El Amante Japonés in 2015 in Spain by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, S.A.U."--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Extent
321 pages
Isbn
9781501116995
Lccn
2015028338
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 915943374
  • (OCoLC)915943374

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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