In The Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (3 out of 5)

A snowstorm in New York brings together three very different people: Grizzled and neurotic professor Richard, his beautiful tenant Lucia, and the young, mute, and terrified young girl Evelyn. A car accident leads to a terrible discovery; a body in the trunk of the car that Evelyn was driving. The blizzard strands the three of them alone in Richard’s apartment as they try to get Evelyn to open up, and then a plan needs to be hatched, to deal with the body, getting the mute Evelyn to tell them what happened, and then for Richard and Lucia to get her safely away from the situation. The backstories of all three characters bring their own share of tragedy, which in turn helps them relate easier to one another once they open up. However, that’s one of the few saving graces here. I liked their histories more than their present incarnations. Richard annoyed me so bad. Lucia was a character I didn’t mind at all, but I wouldn’t, because she has moxie! Evelyn was a sympathetic character, but again, her tragic history got my attention more than her present story. Not everyone can live in the past, people. I felt like Allende wanted us to do that for most of the novel. I didn’t care for most of the present story, and the end of the body in the trunk story seemed like something out of a Reelz crime reenactment instead of something that would tie the three characters together in a more sentimental, believable way. It was contrived. There were parts of this story where I just didn’t give a shit. This is the first of Allende’s books where I can say that. Unfortunate. Lucia saved the book for me. And that is one of the few things, along with the histories of the three characters. Speaking of things that drove me nuts and things left unanswered, at the beginning of the book, Richard has to rush his cat to the vet for an emergency situation. And we never find out the outcome! Considering that this is one of the few things that Allende uses to demonstrate that Richard does, in fact, have a heart under that tartan vest, to not have an ending to it, well, par for the course. Unless you’re a die-hard fan, you may want to pick up a different tome. “In The Midst of Winter” is brought to us by Simon & Schuster. It’s out Tuesday, October 31, 2017. 

~ by generationgbooks on October 22, 2017.

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