I was kindly added to a readalong for ‘The Wind Knows My Name’ by Isabel Allende. So, I was gifted a proof of the book to allow me to join in, so thank you again Tandem Collective UK. I was very excited, as this was my first encounter with Allende’s work; I have seen it around a lot but I was not sure that her books were for me. They always seemed to be something that may be a little highbrow for me. Yet again, how wrong I was – in fact, I am now going to be trying to read her backlist (along with all those other books I promise myself I will read).
‘The Wind Knows my Name’ is a beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction that takes use from the tragic night of Kristallnacht in the 1930s right up to the present day. This book explores the idea of displacement of people due to the difficult and dangerous social and political situations that they have lived through with their families, causing them to flee for the hope of a better life. And, what Allende does so cleverly is bring some of her characters together from very different backgrounds, but who all have the shared experience of displacement – allowing them to form relationships and support for each other.
This book is heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. It is incredibly thought-provoking as its timeline becomes more and more contemporary, and you see the issues we sometimes think are left in the past are still continuing, every day, around the world. And, in fact, you will be wanting to find out more about the events that she has chosen to pick out to create her narrative.
I think it is fairly clear that I will be trying more of Allende’s novels. So, if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments.