Reviewed by Nancy Croy Anyanonu
“In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer.”
This sweeping novel takes the reader from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala, Brazil and Chile in the 1970s.
Isabel Allende’s book, “In The Midst of Winter,” is a timely message about immigration. With her themes of social justice and love, she gives readers a look at what immigration is really like in this country.
Allende’s story revolves around three people who each have experienced events in their lives that could have destroyed them. The author leads her readers through the life of each character and to the wintery day in New York City when their paths cross, which unexpectedly binds them together to eventually solve the challenges of their pasts.
The three characters are a college department chairman, an immigrant from Guatemala and a Chilean exile. Allende weaves together the life of this immigrant, the journey of an exile separated from family, and the despair of a man who views his past as total failure.
Ingeniously, she unfolds an example of how people can enter into one another’s lives and change them for the better. She showcases an ability to change this unlikely tale into one that draws in readers to believe in the possibility of trust and love.
She turns the midst of winter into an endless summer.
Allende is a Chilean American writer who has written eight novels which have been translated in 35 languages and have become best sellers in on four continents. In 2004, she was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in 1942 in Peru and raised in Chile, she now lives in California.
“In The Midst of Winter” was published by Simon and Schuster in 2017, has 340 pages, and includes a reading group guide. 4****stars.