This is a day I celebrate since it’s the release day for The Wind Knows by Name by Isabel Allende, an author whose books I always read and enjoy. Plus, I’m inspired by the fact that an author older than me is still turning out high-quality stories, this one with a partial focus on Kristallnacht.
From the Publisher
“Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler is five years old when his father disappears during Kristallnacht—the night his family loses everything. As her child’s safety becomes ever harder to guarantee, Samuel’s mother secures a spot for him on a Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. He boards alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin.
“Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Díaz and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. But their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and seven-year-old Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes her tenuous reality through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination. Meanwhile, Selena Durán, a young social worker, enlists the help of a successful lawyer in hopes of tracking down Anita’s mother.
“Intertwining past and present, The Wind Knows My Name tells the tale of these two unforgettable characters, both in search of family and home. It is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers—and never stop dreaming.”
From the New York Times
“Telling a story that is rooted so deeply in political events can be a difficult balancing act; an author walks a fine line between writing immersive fiction and explaining historical and social context. “The Wind Knows My Name” contains little of the magic that defined Allende’s earlier novels. Instead, she turns her focus to the brutal details of government-sponsored violence and asks her reader to look closely at the devastation. Allende draws a straight line from Nazi Germany to modern-day atrocities — not because the specifics are the same, but because the damage is.”
From the Associated Press
“Allende moves the story back and forth between Europe and the United States, switches between the past and present, as two very different children in very different places and circumstances search for the safety of home and family.
“It’s a very different kind of book for Allende, who often places her stories in her native Latin America, including her best known and highly successful novel,The House of Spirits and last year’s Violeta, which stretches across a century of South American history.”
You can find an excerpt here.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal short stories and novels.