Book review: The Japanese Lover

ISABEL ALLENDE is well known for her wondrous storytelling and ornate descriptions when she became a global phenomenon with her first novel in 1982, The House of Spirits.
Book review: The Japanese Lover

We feel glimmers of this in her latest novel, The Japanese Lover.

However, I was a little disappointed to discover large passages of description and sometimes-stiff dialogue.

Nevertheless, there is a heart-warming story at the core and Allende takes the reader on a journey of forbidden romance and deep, meaningful friendships.

The story has all the makings of a poignant historical novel.

Irina Bazili and Alma Belasco cross paths in Lark House Nursing home where Irina is a care worker and Alma is a resident, with the assistance of Alma’s grandson Seth.

Irina gives herself the task of discovering Alma’s mysterious past and her love affair with Ichimei Fukuda.

It’s a touching novel.

However, it fails to really get off the ground, as I feel Allende does rather more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’.

The Japanese Lover

Isabel Allende

Simon & Schuster,

€23.50; ebook, €16.50

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up