In “Maya’s Notebook,” Isabel Allende creates a contemporary young woman who flees the dark underworld of Las Vegas to a refuge off the remote coast of Chile. Allende appears Wednesday, April at Town Hall Seattle.
A compassionate novel mocking the self-help manual genre, describing what it might take for the unnamed protagonists (in an unnamed country of the sub-continent) to drag themselves out of poverty, one of them from where the landless farmers can merely "exchange [his or her] allocation of time in this world for an allocation of time in this world." Brilliant and entertaining.
First of series about genteel southern English extended family as WW 2 approaches and eventuates, children especially finely drawn. All sorts of trials from inability to get good servants to families torn apart. E.J. Howard, the thinking woman's Enid Blyton? More than that.
Piqued by learning of an exquisite cheese exclusively from a small village in Spain, Paterniti, a feature writer for high quality glossies, tracks it back to its hilly windswept, vendetta-ridden region of origin. Over visits throughout a decade, he comes to question his basic assumptions about his own and his family's lives. No vine-draped, dream-fulfilling sojourn, this.
Kehua Metafictional account of the tough predicaments of a family of women from the 1930s to the present day. The kehua (somewhat playful spirits of the dead that hang around trying to influence the living) are used as a metaphor to show how not so subtly the experiences of our forbears filter through to shape our lives. Entertaining in Weldon's usual cool, drop dead style.