Isabel Allende is a fairly new author for me. I have been collecting her books in both paper and electronic versions for some time but just haven’t gotten around to reading them.This last month I decided to jump right in with the author’s newest novel,, The Japanese Lover. I’ll admit that the title reminded me of Marguerite Duras whom I greatly admire. As might be expected, the two authors are quite different.
Now I didn’t expect Allende to be writing the nouveau roman, maybe a liltle magic realism, but I found her novel somewhat pedestrian and I definitely felt she jammed too many themes into the book without every really fulfilling any of the promise. Is it a love story? A story about a war orphan? Concentration camps? Rich people? Poor people? Old people? the Japanese internment? the war? a botany primer? San Francisco society? homosexuals? Child pornography? Overcoming the past? Imagining a future? Dog walking?