In the Midst of Winter ハードカバー – 2017/11/1
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**THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** **The captivating new novel from the multi-million-bestselling author of The House of the Spirits and The Japanese Lover** 'In some of the most beautiful passages in the novel, Allende explores the gentle but redemptive depths of mature love and the paths it can take . . . Allende has an unflashy wisdom to offer, a maturity that illuminates her storytelling . . . it pursues an age-old question: how to live a full life and find meaning, not just survive or endure one's past' Financial Times on In the Midst of Winter New York Times bestseller Isabel Allende returns with a beautifully crafted, multi-generational novel of struggle, endurance and friendship against the odds. Amid the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, an unexpected friendship blossoms between three people thrown together by circumstance. Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car driven by Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented migrant from Guatemala. But what at first seems an inconvenience takes an unforeseen and darker turn when Evelyn comes to him and his neighbour Lucia Maraz, desperately seeking help. Sweeping from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala to turbulent 1970s Chile and Brazil, and woven with Isabel Allende's trademark humanity, passion and storytelling verve, In the Midst of Winter is a mesmerizing and unforgettable tale. Praise for Isabel Allende: `Isabel Allende is a master storyteller. When it comes to love Isabel writes from the heart to the heart and I feel all the richer for having been touched by her' Santa Montefiore `If Allende's life depended on her narrative gifts, she'd not only survive, but reign' Los Angeles Times `Isabel Allende is the most romantic of writers and The Japanese Lover is a novel of high romance and lush sensuality, unashamedly about the enduring power of love and ending on a note of grace' The Times `Lush storytelling, with a liberal dusting of South American magical realism and a multi-gener-ational narrative sweep' Financial Times `Internationally beloved Allende, as effervescent in her compassion, social concerns, and profound joy in storytelling as ever, brings both humor and intensity to this madcap, soulful and transporting tale of three survivors who share their traumatic pasts ... Allende has a rare and precious gift for simultaneously challenging and entrancing readers' Booklist, starred review `Grief and loss are transformed into healing friendship in this fantastic novel ... A suspenseful, icy adventure. Filled with Allende's signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, the book delves wonderfully into what it means to respect, protect, and love' Publishers Weekly `This winter's tale has something to melt each frozen heart' Kirkus Reviews
`Enchanting, magnificent. Absolute magic on every level' * Cosmopolitan * `A gripping and tender tribute to the human heart' * Mail on Sunday * `Lush storytelling, with a liberal dusting of South American magical realism and a multi-gener-ational narrative sweep' * Financial Times * `Isabel Allende is the most romantic of writers and this is a novel of high romance and lush sensuality, unashamedly about the enduring power of love and ending on a note of grace' * The Times * `If Allende's life depended on her narrative gifts, she'd not only survive, but reign' * Los Angeles Times * `Isabel Allende is a master storyteller. When it comes to love Isabel writes from the heart to the heart and I feel all the richer for having been touched by her' -- Santa Montefiore商品の説明をすべて表示する
それぞれが辛く厳しい過去を抱えつつ、お互いを思いやり愛をも育んでいく物語であるが、Richard が吹雪の中で Evelyn の車に追突し、そのトランクの中には Evelyn にもわからない若い女性の死体が。不法移民の Evelyn を守るために彼らが考えた解決策は～となると、あまりにも荒唐無稽な感じがして困惑した。
しかし、3人がそれぞれの過去を打ち明けあうなかに、Evelyn がグアテマラでの悲劇から逃れてアメリカまで辿り着いたようす、チリの軍事クーデターに翻弄された Rucia の人生、Richard のブラジル時代の放蕩とその後の孤独などが、挿入的に語られて、当時の社会背景には興味深いものがあった。
In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer.とのアルベール・カミュの詩の一節が、Richard の絶望から光を見い出した人生を象徴し、この本のタイトルとなっている。
Richard Bowmaster is an NYU professor in his mid-sixties who lives in Brooklyn. He’s lonely, avoids physical contact, and does not drink because he’s an alcoholic. Richard is a widower and has a widower father named Joseph who was a Jew in Germany but managed to get out of the country in time.
Lucia Maraz is an NYU teacher who is Richard’s tenant. She lives below him, is in her early sixties, and has occasional sex fantasies about Richard. She once touched him accidentally but he didn’t like it. She is originally from Chile and there is a chapter that deals with the September 11, 1973 overthrow of Salvador Allende’s government. (The author is well qualified to write about this because she lived in Santiago during this time and her father was a first cousin to Salvador Allende.)
Evelyn Ortega is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. She’s a young woman who could probably be the daughter of Richard and Lucia if they had produced a child. Richard rear ends her car in an accident and gets Lucia to help translate their conversation. After I read about Evelyn I thought the plot might move toward Richard & Lucia getting together and pseudo-adopting Evelyn as their proxy daughter. Wrong.
We learn all of this about the three characters in the first seventy pages. Then the plot begins with a stunning event. Now we’re getting somewhere, I thought.
Whoops, wrong again. We eventually get to page 245 and three more chapters on the characters’ background follow. At this point I almost tossed the book. But I was getting close to the end so I decided to stick with it and find out what happens. Unfortunately, it ended with a whimper instead of a bang.
Overall I thought this novel was seriously unbalanced with much more character background than plot substance. I’ve read a number of Allende’s earlier books and was disappointed with this one.
Even though the characters were well developed, they didn't seem real to me. The ending seemed rushed.
I believe I read the idea for this novel was suggested to her by friends who knew it was time for her to begin a new novel. Maybe she wasn't ready. Maybe that was the problem.