Friday October 30, 2020

Readers kept at a distance in Allende’s latest novel

Story is consistently engaging despite the narrative flaws

31st January, 2016
Isabel Allende: the narrative that runs through her 14th novel never quite achieves a consistent tone Credit: Getty

It is an unlikely friendship, and even unlikelier affair. Alma Belasco is a wealthy heiress; Ichimei Fukada is a lowly gardener’s son. Despite their divergent status, however, they have a painful history in common. Alma is a Polish-Jewish refugee, who left her parents behind to join cousins in America as war in Europe threatened to break out.

Japanese-American Ichimei, meanwhile, is a victim of “yellow peril”; he is banished to an internment camp...

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