The Japanese Lover

The Japanese Lover

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
21
Rate this:
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
"From internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende comes an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from present-day San Francisco to Poland and the United States during WWII. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis and the world goes to war, 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 she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family's Japanese gardener, and between them a tender love blossoms. Following Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart when Ichimei and his family - like thousands of Japanese Americans - are declared enemies by the US government and relocated to internment camps. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love 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 older woman and her grandson, Seth, at 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, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Atria Books,, 2015
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501116971
1501116975
9781501116995
Characteristics: 321 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

JCLGermanP Aug 24, 2017

Un libro bueno, buena historia, pero uno encuentra fácilmente la influencia de García Márquez, es una historia al estilo del "Amor en los tiempos del cólera".

b
BeckyR21
Mar 28, 2017

An interesting examination of race, era, and personal struggles. Quite a lot covered in a relatively short book. A wonderful writer. Will look for more of her work.

e
EileenS
Feb 14, 2017

Interesting account of the Japanese internment in SF

c
cknightkc
Oct 16, 2016

With the provocative title, I should’ve known what to expect when I began THE JAPANESE LOVER. While it's an easy read, the characters were never fully developed for my satisfaction and much of the narrative seems straight out of a Harlequin Romance novel. This overly ambitious book attempts to juggle way too many themes, including aging, dying, assisted suicide, racism, war crimes, human sex trafficking, child pornography, abortion, and homosexuality. In all fairness, this was my first Isabel Allende novel, and I've noted others comment that THE JAPANESE LOVER doesn’t even approach the standards of her other works, so I’ll give her a pass on this one and read another of her books, just not immediately.

l
lisastitch
Oct 07, 2016

An interesting story, but not as engaging as I had hoped for. The characters didn't really come alive, and the shifts in time were hard to follow. She included so many social issues--the Holocaust, Japanese internment, homosexuality, sex slavery, among others--that it was hard to make connections. A disappointment.

r
ryner
Aug 04, 2016

'The Japanese Lover' reveals the parallel stories of Irina Bazili, a caregiver at a senior living facility and immigrant from Moldova with a mysterious past; and one of the residents she meets, Alma Belasco, whose tragic and touching life story provides the backbone of the narrative.

It had been many years since I'd last read Allende, and I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed her writing. I eagerly looked forward to continuing this book during each of my lunch breaks. I do wish Ichimei as an adult had been fleshed out a bit more as a character -- I had a difficult time picturing him as anything but a grown, shadowy man with an unidentified personality. I was captivated by the story -- it would make a great summer/vacation read.

p
penny0816
Jul 26, 2016

Isabel Allende writes some of the most interesting topics. And, her style is unique.

Thanks, Isabel

m
mancia
Apr 21, 2016

Beautiful, as all Allende's books

c
carol507
Apr 18, 2016

I agree - first 1/2 book really good, but then it drags until the last 2-3 chapters.

ehbooklover Mar 30, 2016

A beautifully written historical/love story. Head's up: it starts out a bit slowly, but builds and builds until finally becoming a completely engaging and interesting page-turner thanks to some pretty great plot twists and lots of wonderfully fleshed out characters.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MenloPark

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top