New York Times and 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.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. 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.
It is a good person who is a world renowned author, but says her best achievement is not her books, but the love she shares with a few people, especially her family, and having always tried to help people. Such are the thoughts of Isabel Allende, a Chilean author who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Hussein Obama. She has written: The House of the Spirits, and City of the Beasts. Her novels are considered to be the genre of magical realism. They are usually based on her own experiences, historical events, and pay homage to the lives of women. She also uses elements of myth and realism.
Allende was born in Lima, Peru. Her father was a cousin to Salvador Allende, the President of Chile from 1970 to 1973. Her father left her mother, so Isabel ended up moving to many places when her mother married a diplomat. In 1962 Isabel married an engineering student, when she moved back to Chile to complete her secondary education. She then led a dual life as obedient wife and mother, but in public was Barbara Cartland, well-known tv personality, a dramatist, and journalist with a feminine magazine.
Allende had jobs with the United Nations in Santiago, then Brussels and elsewhere. In Chile she translated books from English to Spanish, but was fired because she made some changes on her own (which were not appreciated) and was altering some endings from "happily ever after", to allow the heroine some independence to do good in the world.
She now runs the Isabel Allende Foundation, founded in 1996 to honor the author's daughter Paula Frias, who passed away at age 29. They award life-changing grants to women to improve their care.