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In the midst of winter : a novel
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Human rights
New York - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Brazil - South America / Latin America
Time Period
1970's-2000s -- 20th-21st century
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  Library Journal Review

Chilean Lucia Maraz, 61, is a visiting professor at New York University, living half-frozen in the chilly basement apartment owned by her boss Richard Bowmaster, the son of Holocaust survivors. For Richard, who has barely survived a triad of horrible family tragedies, sobriety is one fear-filled day at a time. During a three-day blizzard at the beginning of 2016, Richard accidentally rear-ends the car driven without permission by Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented nanny who fled Guatemala after an unspeakable attack. The damage -exposes a dead body in the trunk. Wanting to help Evelyn, Richard enlists Lucia's help. The three concoct a mad road trip to an isolated cabin where they plan to dispose of the body, using the bitter cold and snow as cover. In internationally renowned author Allende's latest novel (after The Japanese Lover), three wounded souls, thrown together by a literal and metaphorical collision of events, embark on a journey of self-discovery, emerging love, and the power of learning to trust. VERDICT Allende puts a human face on the realities of illegal immigration, broken hearts, courage, and healing with her signature heart. [See Prepub Alert, 5/15/17.]-Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann -Arbor Dist. Lib., MI © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Grief and loss are transformed into a healing friendship in this fantastic novel from Allende (Zorro). Sixty-year-old scholar Richard Bowmaster and his coworker and tenant, 62-year-old Lucia Maraz, who is a visiting professor at NYU, are faced with a shocking dilemma when a young Guatemalan refugee enters their lives. Set primarily in Brooklyn and upstate New York, the book opens with a minor car collision between Richard and Evelyn Ortega-an undocumented immigrant working for an overbearing employer. Shaken and terrified because she borrowed her employer's Lexus without his permission, Evelyn comes to Richard's apartment. Unable to calm her, Richard solicits Lucia to come help and, with a snowstorm raging outside, the three nibble on pot brownies and share stories: Evelyn's harrowing, tortured childhood at the hands of the MS-13 gang, Lucia's youth amid the violence of the 1973 Chilean coup. Upon sobering up, Evelyn explains that she cannot return the Lexus, and that there is a dead body in the trunk, presumably murdered by her employer. Richard, having grown up hearing of his father's escape from the Nazis, has "the idea etched on his mind that to help the persecuted is an inescapable duty." With the threat that Evelyn could be deported if they notify the authorities, the three quickly plan to dispose of the body in upstate New York, launching 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. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
New York Times Bestseller <br> <br> Worldwide bestselling "dazzling storyteller" (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.<br> <br> In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident--which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster--a 60-year-old human rights scholar--hits the car of Evelyn Ortega--a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala--in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor's house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz--a 62-year-old lecturer from Chile--for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.<br> <br> Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende's landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of "humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics" (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post ). In the Midst of Winter will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
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