2017-03-16 / Island Life

‘The Japanese Lover’ chosen for book club’s April review

The story of a love affair that spans decades is the book choice of the Ellis Memorial Book Club for its April meeting.

“The Japanese Lover,” by Isabel Allende, will be discussed beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11.

The publisher, Simon and Schuster, Inc., provided the following synopsis:

“In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco.

“There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener.

“Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family, like thousands of other Japanese Americans, are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government.

“Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

“Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home.

“As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.

“Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, ‘The Japanese Lover’ is written with the same keen understanding of her characters that Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel ‘The House of the Spirits.’

“‘The Japanese Lover’ is a moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.”

For more information and to reserve a copy of the book, call the library at 749-4116.

The library is located at 710 W. Ave. A.

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