El viento conoce mi nombre de Isabel Allende

de Isabel Allende - Género: Histórico
libro gratis El viento conoce mi nombre


Una historia de violencia, amor, desarraigo y esperanza.

Viena, 1938. Samuel Adler es un niño judío de seis años cuyo padre desaparece durante la Noche de los Cristales Rotos, en la que su familia lo pierde todo. Su madre, desesperada, le consigue una plaza en un tren que le llevará desde la Austria nazi hasta Inglaterra. Samuel emprende una nueva etapa con su fiel violín y con el peso de la soledad y la incertidumbre, que lo acompañarán siempre en su dilatada vida.

Arizona, 2019. Ocho décadas más tarde, Anita Díaz, de siete años, sube con su madre a bordo de otro tren para escapar de un inminente peligro en El Salvador y exiliarse en Estados Unidos. Su llegada coincide con una nueva e implacable política gubernamental que la separa de su madre en la frontera. Sola y asustada, lejos de todo lo que le es familiar, Anita se refugia en Azabahar, el mundo mágico que solo existe en su imaginación. Mientras tanto, Selena Durán, una joven trabajadora social, y Frank Angileri, un exitoso abogado, luchan por reunir a la niña con su madre y por ofrecerle un futuro mejor.

En El viento conoce mi nombre pasado y presente se entrelazan para relatar el drama del desarraigo y la redención de la solidaridad, la compasión y el amor. Una novela actual sobre los sacrificios que a veces los padres deben hacer por sus hijos, sobre la sorprendente capacidad de algunos niños para sobrevivir a la violencia sin dejar de soñar, y sobre la tenacidad de la esperanza, que puede brillar incluso en los momentos más oscuros.

Comentarios de lectores del libro El viento conoce mi nombre

He leído casi toda la obra de esta autora, y este último libro me ha sorprendido. Tiene una primera parte (la persecución de los judíos en Alemania por los nazis) que no es un tema habitual en sus libros. Luego empiezan a aparecer personajes, demasiados, muchos escenarios y saltos en el tiempo, que dificultan la lectura y hacen perder el interés. A pesar de todo, el estilo de la autora es el de siempre, claro, fluido y ameno.

Autor del comentario: MAIFERTA
He leído casi toda la obra de esta autora, y este último libro me ha sorprendido. Tiene una primera parte (la persecución de los judíos en Alemania por los nazis) que no es un tema habitual en sus libros. Luego empiezan a aparecer personajes, demasiados, muchos escenarios y saltos en el tiempo, que dificultan la lectura y hacen perder el interés. A pesar de todo, el estilo de la autora es el de siempre, claro, fluido y ameno.

Autor del comentario: MAIFERTA
Excelente novela. La recomiendo.Es muy triste y cruda, pero a la vez muy tierna por la relación de los protagonistas: Samuel, Anita, Leticia, Selena y Frank.

Autor del comentario: TEFI
La lectura cautiva porque como en tantas otras lecturas de esta autora la vida cotidiana de los personajes discurre en un contexto real y muy bien descrito. Una historia preciosa, muy recomendable.

Autor del comentario: CATALONIA
Lo leímos en nuestro club de lectura y no ha habido nadie al que le haya gustado.Lo dejé a medias en el cuarto capítulo.No entiendo nada de este libro la verdad, una pena y una decepción.

Autor del comentario: LECTURALIAGOHA

Reseñas Varias sobre este libro

I find it hard to stay positive in this rubbish world.

Fyodor Dostoevsky once wrote that ‘the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.’ The deliberate cruelty of family separations at the US border and the mistreatment of the children torn from their families should certainly make one dismayed, and times of crisis and despair we look to those who hold space for hope and endurance through the connections they build. The Wind Knows My Name, the newest novel from celebrated Chilean author Isabel Allende, focuses on these people in a sweeping storyline that takes us from Vienna at the outset of the Holocaust to the child internment camps at the present day US border. Following the stories of several characters&Mdash;Samuel, Leticia, Selena, and the young Anita—who initially seem completely isolated from one another, Allende gorgeously weaves their various timelines, continents and lives together to form an endearing portrait of human connectivity and caring. It is historical fiction with history still in the making, and Allende draws a direct line from the atrocities of the holocaust through the CIA-driven massacres and dictatorships in Latin America of the late 20th century and into the Trump administration by way of the devastation and despair they created for political gain. A haunting yet beautiful novel managing a lot in a short space, The Wind Knows My Name finds the power of love even in the darkest spaces.

There is a lot of history reverberating through Allende’s novel. It begins with Kristallnacht in 1938 where a young Samuel Adler is sent by his jewish parents on the Kindertransport to England to escape the brutal horrors taking shape. As if a rhyme to his narrative, we have young, blind Anita Diaz arriving by rail to the US only to be taken from her mother and imprisoned as she awaits trial. We also meet refugee lawer Selena Durán who, teaming up with Frank Angileri who represents a firm looking for a PR boost after accusations of embezzlement and trafficking, hopes to protect these children and reunite them with family. For more on the legal side of this tragedy of family separations and deportations, one might be interested in reading Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, a book about defending children in deportation cases from by the incredible author Valeria Luiselli (her Faces in the Crowd is a favorite novella of mine) who worked as a translator for these children. Then we have Leticia who ‘remembered little from her childhood’ only that she had to flee El Salvador after the El Mozote massacre in 1981, making her another child displaced by political violence Samuel. These stories slowly wind together in Allende’s masterful plotting and it becomes a very emotional read that will certainly keep you flipping pages.

It is interesting to consider historical fiction that is so involved with present day history. Much of the novel deals with the child internment camps and family separations that still make the news today. The focus in the novel is on the spearations that occurred in 2018 under the Zero Tolerance Policy put in place by then President Trump and largely masterminded by white nationalist Stephen Miller. The order, issued in April, was overturned in June of that year, though separations were reported to still occur after and in October of 2018 it was reported that 2,654 children had been removed from their families and placed in detention centers that were known for inhuman treatment (there were 4,500 complaints of sexual misconduct against children from 2014-2018, including the family detention centers previous to the Trump administration). Worse, there was no plan to facilitate reuniting families after and as of Feb 2023, around 1000 children have still not been reunited with their families. This is the political landscape that the characters in the present are trying to navigate.

The novel works best when Allende allows us to experience the characters being characters and interacting, letting us feel the political tensions rather than the moments that seem a bit political exposition instead. One might say there are times the novel feels a bit activism—such as some of the lengthy monologues Selena gives Frank in response to a question, though to be fair it is in keeping with wanting to discuss the legal aspects—but the issues here are very important and it doesn’t detract. It just does occasionally make the characters feel a bit out of focus in the framing. Samuel, for instance, has a lot of sections that read a bit flat as we are told about him over big swaths of time but when it slows down a bit Allende excels at instilling bold emotional resonance in the reader. The terror of escaping Vienna as ‘the stench of fear, rust and rotting garbage’ becomes violently overbearing, the culture shocks that land ‘ a slap in the face’ as he comes to the US, or the frustrations with relationships all really endear us to him.

And this girl is traumatized -- she misses her mother, she's been pulled away from everything she knows, her family, her friends, her school, her community, her language.

Anita is perhaps my favorite character in the novel and I adore the way her character becomes a symbol of endurance. Moving through the world, legally blind, she becomes a figure of all those who move through the treacherous political landscape innocent in intentions, just looking for a safe space to be, and never knowing what is coming at them. Her faith in stories is lovely as well, with her adapting the world and events around into fairy tales as a way to survive them and inspire others to hold fast to hope as well. Unfortunately she is a bit underutilized which is a shame as all the horrors and violence being filtered through her childhood innocence in her tellings of them make it all the more haunting, unsettling, and emotionally effective.

Overall, The Wind Knows My Name becomes a sort of found family narrative of bittersweet tenderness amidst a landscape of cruelty and despair. Allende clearly cares strongly for her characters, and that love shines through in her depictions of them, thus endearing them further to us and while often heartbreaking, this is a book that is difficult to put down. It feels a bit uneven at times but altogether it is a striking portrait of lives displaced and suffering that can find solace in one another.

3.5/5chile found_family political ...more227 s10 comments Canadian Jen546 1,761

Allende is a master at spinning an epic story. I really wanted this one to speak to me as her others have.

Here she attempts to intricately weave 4 stories together.There is a Sam’s story - a survivor of those children sent on a Kindertransport train out of Austria during WW2 in 1938.There is Anita who emigrated with her mother from El Salvador only to be ripped apart at the border in 2020 during the pandemic.There is Selena who is an immigration lawyer trying to locate Anita’s mother. Then we have Leticia. Whose own heritage is that of an immigrant from Central America.

Personally, I think it was far too ambitious. The child’s POV just didn’t work for me. Significant events could have had their own stories: The plight immigrants experience when making their way to the US only to be separated. An inhumane policy. Paralleling the peril of children from WW2 whose parents gave their children to other countries to ensure their safety. Both facing risks of abuse.

The writing is Allende awesome. Although the paths did eventually merge, it still felt fragmented.

Allende, give us a story of Chalchupa or El Mozart!
3.5⭐️224 s10 comments Sujoya(theoverbookedbibliophile)- Lots of catching up to do! 644 2,192


In I938 Vienna, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, six-year-old Samuel Adler is sent to England via Kindertransport – his mother’s final gesture of love in a bid to save her son’s life. Samuel, a violin prodigy and the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust spends time in foster care among strangers before finally finding a home with a kindly Quaker couple. We follow Samuel’s story into adulthood, his move to the United States, and his love and talent for music playing an important role in the life he builds for himself.

Letitia Cordero was seven years old when everyone in her family, save for her father, lost their lives in the El Mozote massacre of 1981. Letitia and her father fled El Salvador, crossing the Rio Grande to enter America, where they eventually make a life for themselves.

In 2019, seven-year-old Anita Diaz and her mother, fleeing from violence in El Salvador, is taken into custody at the US-Mexico border while trying to enter the United States. Detained and ultimately separated from her mother Marisol, Anita, visually impaired after an accident that took the life of her younger sister, is left to fend for herself, shuttled between foster homes, alone and desperate to reunite with her mother. Anita copes with her fears and loneliness through conversations with her deceased sister and dreams of an imaginary magical world where she would be reunited with all of those she has lost. Selena Duran, a social worker attached to the Magnolia Project for Refugees and Immigrants, and Frank Angileri a lawyer from San Francisco who represents Anita’s interests pro bono, work together so that Anita is granted asylum while the search for her mother continues. After Anita endures a particularly traumatizing episode in foster care they manage to track down Anita’s distant relation, Letitia Cordero who is sheltering in place in her employer, the elderly Samuel Adler’s home during the pandemic. As the narrative progresses we follow Anita, Letitia and Samuel as their stories converge - three lives, impacted by similar circumstances, decades apart –– and how they impact and are impacted by one another- on a shared journey of hope and healing.

Touching upon themes of forced migration, sacrifice, loss, trauma, healing and found family, the author seamlessly weaves the three threads of this story together to craft a beautiful, heartfelt narrative that will touch your heart. Powerful prose, superb characterizations, fluid narrative, and the author’s masterful storytelling make for a compelling read. The pace is a tad uneven but not so much that it detracts from the reading experience. Though the three characters and their childhood experiences are set in different timelines, decades apart, the author draws out the similarities between historical events and contemporary politics and policies, in the context of the impact of the same on children whose lives are upended in the face of violence and war, forced migration and immigration policies and politics. The author paints a heart-wrenching picture of the plight of innocent children forced to flee their homeland with their fates and their lives in the hands of those who might not always be sympathetic to their cause. This is not a lengthy book (less than 300 pages) but definitely a timely and thought-provoking story. However, I would have d it if a few aspects and characters in this story had been explored in a bit more depth and the ending did feel a tad rushed. But overall, The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende is an impactful read that I would not hesitate to recommend.

Many thanks to Random House-Ballantine and NetGalley for the digital review copy of this beautiful story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.netgalley-arc177 s2 comments Kat (will try to catch up soon!)273 890

Beautifully written, as always, by the very gifted Allende. It's a story that's touching, heartbreaking, maddening and affirming in turns. In the past, Samuel's family in Austria was destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. He was spared by being taken on the Kindertransport to America, where he was shuffled around until landing with a kind Quaker couple. The trauma of his experience stays locked away in his memories, as we see the course of his life over many years.

In another timeline, we have Anita, a nearly blind seven-year-old Salvadoran refugee who was separated from her mother at the border due to American policies put in place under the last administration to discourage immigration. She too suffers greatly as she's bounced around to various detention centers, group and foster homes, all without the comfort of even knowing where her mother is.

Our other two narrators are Leticia, a Salvadoran with her own tragic past who helps care for Samuel, now in his 80's, and Selena, a Mexican-American advocate for the Magnolia Project which pairs pro-bono lawyers with undocumented children to establish residency with the courts and hopefully reunite them with their loved ones.

I loved how the characters' stories paralleled and wove together. The book makes you keenly aware of how many times in history it's been those in power's policy to take children from their parents and how much suffering has resulted from those actions. On the other side, it's a story of hope, healing and moving forward. It sounds heavy, but the tone is nicely balanced and the ending warmed my heart. I particularly enjoyed Samuel and Leticia’s interactions. Read the author's note if you can - it's a great insight into Allende's motivation for writing the book.

My one complaint is that there was too much telling and not enough showing, which made dialogue feel a little unnatural at times, an info-dump. I would've appreciated seeing events play out a bit more, so it didn't feel the story was being fit around the facts Allende wanted to share. That said, I was fully enthralled with the story and despite the heavier themes, truly enjoyed it! If you enjoy a well-written blend of historical and contemporary fiction and can tolerate the political overtones, you may enjoy this. In that respect, this one reminded me of some of Jodi Picoult's writing. Both women are incredibly smart and do their research, and they don't hold their punches!


Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, NetGalley and author Isabel Allende for this digital ARC to honestly review. It’s due to be published on June 6, 2023.

TW: Holocaust, American immigration policy, family separation, rape, femicide, genocide, torture, war, neglect, child abuse and neglect

contemporary-fiction historical-fiction power-dynamics ...more176 s4 comments Angela M 1,348 2,160

In two different times, in two different places, under different and horrible circumstances, two children are separated from their families - a young boy during the Holocaust, a little girl during the recent pandemic at the border. Allende beautifully brings them together, when the boy is now an elderly man. This is a story that moved me with touching and sad times in their lives, moved me with their shared grief and the goodness of people who care. Allende, still a masterful storyteller.

I received a copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalleynetgalley-118 s1 comment Terrie Robinson506 998

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende is a Blend of Family and Historical Fiction!

Two children, eighty-one years apart, are separated from their mother without explanation and under the most harrowing circumstances of their time.

In 1938, six-year old Samuel Adler's mother ensures he is on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi occupied Austria to the United Kingdom and safety. He's alone, without money, doesn't speak English, only has one change of clothes, and his beloved violin...

In 2019, seven-year-old Anita Diaz, with her mother, board a train out of El Salvador to the United States and safety. Once they arrive, mother and daughter are separated. In the chaos, no one seems to know where the mother is located. Anita is alone, blind, doesn't speak English, and the only things she has are dreams of a Guardian Angel and the imaginary world she's created...

In The Wind Knows My Name, Isabel Allende weaves together the lives of Samuel and Anita, two characters from different parts of the world and timelines decades apart. Then she does it again by bringing in another timeline and two more key characters that results in additional layers and depth to the story.

Isabel Allende's writing style is simplistic and easy, her storytelling is bold, passionate, and often circles around women and families. The Wind Knows My Name follows this pattern and it's why I keep coming back to this author. The fact that this book, at under 280 pages, with a deeper backstory and more character development than books with many more pages is another reason.

However, there certainly is a heck-of-a-lot going on in this story. Fewer secondary characters, keener focus on the connection between Samuel, Anita, and the two additional main characters would have elevated this story and my rating.

Isabel Allende is one my favorite authors and the reason I love to read is because of authors her who write stories The Wind Knows My Name. Although this was not my favorite book from this author, I do recommend it to those who enjoy a blend of Family and Historical Fiction!


Thank you to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Isabel Allende for an ARC of this book. It has been an honor to give my honest and voluntary review.advanced-reading-copy family-fiction historical-fiction ...more118 s4 comments Ceecee2,323 1,929

‘Wish me well, say goodbye.
I’ll never tell I saw you cry.
Understand you’re not to blame.
It’s just the wind, the wind knows my name.’
Fairground Attraction.

Yet again, Isabel Allende treats her readers to a beautifully written, ambitious, soaring saga spanning many decades. It begins in Vienna in 1938, with deepening menace in the air and the knowledge for many that a deadly storm is coming. Dr Rudolph Adler is right to feel despondent as tonight is Kristallnacht with horror and havoc unleashed at every turn. Rudolph will never see his wife Rachel or young son Samuel ever again with Rachel taking the impossible but necessary decision to send Samuel on the Kindertransport to England. We follow Samuel for many years and he is a constant throughout the storytelling. We next meet Leticia who flees her homeland of El Salvador, following the El Mozote massacre of her rural villages. Through Selena Duran, who works for the Magnolia project for refugees and immigrants, and whose intervention with the help of a prestigious law firm in San Francisco we next meet seven-year-old blind Anita Diaz separated from her mother because of American government policy. Dogged investigative work by Selena and lawyer Frank Angileri links all these lives together in one of the most moving, poignant, compassionate stories Isabel Allende has written.

The novel starts chillingly with Samuel’s story and the chills keep coming as the author entrances and mesmerises in this powerful, pertinent and relevant story. Although much is tragic and breaks your heart and I lose count of the times I’m moved to tears, this is a novel ultimately of hope and humanity. It’s sprinkled with the trademark Allende magic from several sources, but especially from Anita. There are some truly memorable characters that are wonderfully and tenderly portrayed with empathy and understanding. The author brings Samuel, Leticia, Selena and Anita to life, weaving a powerful story around them, conveying their difficult histories so well and with a title that is so apt. Here we meet resilient children with stolen childhoods whose reliance on strangers is inevitable, and at times, it must feel to them as if only the wind knows their name. That hits me so hard making you reflect on the lottery of birth. The story connects these characters together but you do need to be patient and trust in the skills of this experienced author. I love the warmth of the developing relationships where age is of no importance and bask in the impact this has on wonderful Samuel.

Overall, yet again Isabel Allende stuns and moves me. In my opinion she is one of the greatest authors of her generation. I’m sure this latest novel will be another best seller and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Bloomsbury for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.127 s Liz2,352 3,204

3.5 stars, rounded down
This heart wrenching book tackles the horrors of forced immigration on children. It shows that no matter where or when, it’s children that pay the price.
The story begins with Samuel Adler, a six year old violin prodigy when Kristallnacht occurs in Vienna. His father is attacked by a mob and lands in a concentration camp. His mother secures Samuel a spot on the Kindertransport to England and then, she, too, disappears. He was fortunate to end up with a loving Quaker family, but loses his true family.
Flash forward to Leticia Cordero, who was in the hospital when the El Mozote massacre occurred in El Salvador, wiping out all her family, save her father. The two make the trek north across the Rio Grande to the US.
And finally, Anita Diaz, an almost blind seven year old, who escapes El Salvador with her mother and ends up at Nogales in a children’s home. Trump’s asinine family separation policy has just gone into effect, so Anita is alone. me, Allende makes no secret of her politics.
More characters are brought into the story as it coalesces around Anita. Serena Duran is the social worker who runs the nonprofit trying to assign volunteer lawyers to the immigrant children’s cases. Frank is the young lawyer who volunteers to help because he has the hots for Serena. As the story progresses, all of the characters are brought back into the current picture in 2020 while Covid adds another layer of turmoil.
Allende wanted to make the maximum impact on the reader, so she crammed a lot of facts about our border situation into the book. At times, it almost came across as if she were reporting on the immigration issue, not writing a novel. But she accurately paints the issues at play here and in the countries of origin. While I was impressed with her ability to make the reader understand the problems, I was less than impressed with the book itself. There were multiple side stories that added nothing to the plot and made the pacing uneven. At times, it felt a series of vignettes strung together. At other times, though, her ability to create the perfect phrase shines through.
I also had trouble believing the scenario - that a social worker and lawyer could devote so much time to one single case. Or that a young corporate lawyer would have so much time to devote to nonprofit work, including several trips to El Salvador.
My thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advance copy of this book.netgalley97 s4 comments Karen631 1,523

Yikes! I was expecting to love this as I love Allende’s writing .. but this did not hit the mark for me.
Too bad.. beautiful title and cover…

Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine for the Arc!71 s Brina1,039 4

About a year and a half ago, Isabel Allende told the story of her mother’s life in Violeta. Recently, Long Petal of the Sea portrayed a different angle to House of the Spirits, her first book published nearly forty years ago that put her on the map as a Hispanic writer to be reckoned. I thought these two books that returned Allende to what she knows best were a fitting way to end a memorable writing career. Apparently, I thought wrong. Writers will always have stories to tell, and Allende is among one of the best story tellers there is. When I heard that she had written a book about immigration and Holocaust survival all rolled into one, I was skeptical, but she is Isabel Allende after all, so I knew that I would have to read her new book for myself.

Isabel Allende is at her best when she employs magical realism to describe the history of her native Chile. As she has lived in California for a good portion of her life, the magical realism can also work in this setting, as when she describes her own house on a hill reminiscent of her grandparents, using her clairvoyant grandmother’s table to communicate with the spirits. This is the Allende I know and love and have been reading for thirty years. When she branches out and tells other stories that are not as personal, the quality storytelling is still there, and she is still better than most, but the magical realism is gone. Having no personal connection to the story, it becomes difficult for her to insert these magical occurrences into everyday life. I read both The Japanese Lover and In the Midst of Winter and came away with this conclusion, that Allende is indeed at her best when either Chile or her family history is the star of the story. Other stories will still flow from a writer’s pen but are just stories. And that is the feeling I was left with after reading The Wind Knows My Name.

I am going to be critical of anyone writing Holocaust fiction. The era has been overdone in recent years to the point of people being inundated with World War II era fiction. Many people I speak with you jump to read most historical fiction books published have become over saturated with books taking place during this time. Allende notes that she got the idea for the book after seeing a play called Kindertransport. She empathized with the mothers, choosing to send their young children away at a young age to give them hope for surviving the Holocaust. Only two chapters of the book take place in 1938 Vienna, as Rachel Adler is forced to make the decision to send her only son Samuel, then age five, on one of the Kindertransport trains to England. Samuel is traumatized and places the memory of being separated from his mother at the far recesses of his mind, but he survives the Holocaust, and the rest of his extended family does not. I am still undecided as to whether Allende does justice to the Holocaust as this comprised a small yet important section of the book. I am also thinking from the lens of someone who studied the Holocaust in religious school every year and is almost desensitized to the images. For people with different backgrounds as myself, the emotion is still there, and to be fair, so is Samuel’s story, as he goes on to become a concert level violinist and college professor, and, conveniently for Allende, does not practice Judaism after leaving his childhood behind.

Interspersed with Samuel’s story is that of Salvadoran immigrants. This is another red flag for me because my husband is Salvadoran, and he came to the United States legally thirty years ago. Legally, sponsored, on an airplane. This is a red flag because Allende inserts politics into the story, as she and many other writers of her generation have been apt to do lately. It is because recent fiction has been politicized that I have gravitated toward becoming a primarily nonfiction reader; I read fiction to escape. Leticia Cordero arrives in the United States with her father in the early 1980s. According to my husband who can give a much more detailed account than Allende, this is the height of the Salvadoran civil war. Allende’s description of the villages is accurate, but devoid of emotion. She just needed to move her story along. Eventually Leticia (ironically my mother-in-law’s name, it is a common Salvadoran name) settles in San Francisco and becomes Samuel Adler’s housekeeper. This threads their stories together because conveniently again and politics again, she ends up quarantining in Samuel’s mansion when he is now an octogenarian and widower and needs assistance in his day to day life. That alone is fair enough, but I’m not interested in Allende’s politics spoiling an otherwise good story.

The character development of Samuel Adler and Leticia Cordero are ok enough but the most compelling storyline belongs to seven year old Anita Diaz, a Salvadoran immigrant who was separated from her mother at the border. Of course, more of Allende’s politics which are diametrically opposed to my husband’s view on immigration. Anita is represented by a social worker named Selena Durán who is attempting to win her asylum. She enlists the help of lawyers willing to take the cases pro bono and that is how Allende develops the character of Frank Algileri. There has to be a love interest in the story somewhere in Allende’s stories, and Selena and Frank’s story are closest to aspects of Allende’s life than any other part of the book. Their romantic story is sadly the reason I kept reading even though I know Allende well enough to realize that without reading further that they would end up together and the storylines would all tie up neatly. At her age, she is entitled to a story that has a bow at the end, but to me it lacked punch, even with Anita Diaz’ tale which is meant to be heart rending. Interestingly enough, I found the male characters more charming than the women because Allende does not use her politics to further their character development.

In all, The Wind Knows My Name is a quick 260 pages. It lacks the punch of an Allende novel set in Chile. There is no magical realism other than one clairvoyant character who is a peripheral player at best. While some of the storylines tug at emotions, none of them are anything I didn’t know about prior to reading. Had I known that these were the two storylines that Allende chose to weave together added to inserting her politics, I might have skipped the book altogether. Allende is still a master storyteller at her age; however, I feel if she is going to keep writing, to stick to her best: magical realism in Chile. Perhaps those stories are all told, but there is always room to flesh out another character from a different angle. I do hold Allende to a high standard and this is not among her best work. I hope she has one more top of the line story in her because I would hate to see her end an otherwise stellar career with just an average story.

3 stars hispanic-culture historical-fiction holocaust ...more65 s3 comments Bookishrealm2,495 5,814

If there is one thing Allende will do for me, it’s breaking my heart. I’m not sure what I expected going into this novel, but it was a wonderful, impactful brilliantly told story about the human experience. CW: murder, rape, descriptions of rape, racism, antisemitism, domestic violence, torture, brutal historical events i.e. Kristallnacht and the El Mozote Massacre

The Wind Knows My Name is told across several narratives and time periods. Readers follow main characters Samuel, Laticia, Selena, and Anita through the tragic experiences that they experience as children and their lasting impact on them as adults. Part of this book explores human loss and grief and the other part explores the inhumane policies that prevent people from finding safe havens in places the United States. While this book is tragic in many ways, it does speak to human resilience and the importance of found family.

What Worked: I absolutely adore Allende’s writing. This is the third novel that I’ve read by her and her ability to pull me head first into the pages of her stories never ceases to amaze me. There are also some great explorations of the history of human tragedy in this book. As always, Allende does a great job weaving in real historical events that affect and mold characters throughout the story. In this particular novel, readers learn more about WWII through Samuel’s perspective, the El Mozote massacre through Laticia, and the dangers of human trafficking as well as inhumane border policies through Selena and Anita. While I was unclear of how their stories would connect, Allende did a great job of driving them closer together through the theme of human loss and tragedy. Each has lost something or someone meaningful to them and they spend a great portion of the novel attempting to not only work through their grief, but accept their circumstances. Regardless of the tragedy that they face, Allende doesn’t leave readers or her characters without a sense of hope. The importance of found family and community in this book is the silver lining to everyone’s dark and stormy experiences. Their development as characters is beautiful, yet real. They make mistakes, have regrets, break societal expectations, engage in great acts of betrayal, are betrayed, treated in the most inhumane manner and yet each one of them eventually learns how to trust and love through it all. Allende writes with great emotion and easily exhibits it through the lens of her characters. These are people that will stick with me for a while. Even though they are not real, they represent those who have experienced and continue to experience these things. It makes me reflect on the privilege I’ve had of never dealing with half of the human tragedy that some see every single day.

If you’ve never read a book by Allende, I implore you to check something out by her and soon. There isn’t a book by her that I’ve disd. Overall, this was a solid read and I’m excited to dive into more of her works soon.adult-historical-fiction adult-literary-fiction adult-magical-realism ...more50 s1 comment Bam cooks the books ;-)2,030 271

**Happy Publication Day!**

Isabel Allende has written a very sad tale of children caught up in the immigration system. Her story begins in Austria in 1938 where a young Jewish boy named Samuel Adler is put on the Kindertransport heading to England where it is hoped he will be kept safe from the Nazi oppression. He never sees his parents again and eventually settles in San Francisco, CA.

Then there is Leticia who is brought across the Rio Grande on her father's back in January, 1982, 24 days after the El Mozote, Salvadorian massacre. She has a US passport and citizenship and has settled in Berkeley, CA. She remembers little of her childhood and her father never talks about the tragedies that brought them to the US.

But things are harder for immigrants at the US border in November, 2019, when little Anita and her mother try to illegally enter the country. The mother is fleeing for her life from a violent killer in El Salvador but she and her nearly-blind daughter are caught in the desert, detained at the border and separated. Anita is put into the system and bounced between foster homes; she will never see her mother again.

Yet in the midst of these sad times, there is hope. There is Selena Durán, a middle-aged woman who works for the Magnolia Project for Refugees and Immigrants. She goes to the law firm of Larson, Montaigne & Lambert in San Francisco, hoping to convince at least one of their lawyers to volunteer to help with the serious humanitarian crisis at the border. Frank Angileri, a rising-star at the firm, steps forward to volunteer. Okay, maybe it's because he's attracted to Selena but hey, whatever works. These children need all the help they can get. Selena and Frank quickly zero in on Anita's case. Can they find her mother? Or find a way to keep her in the states? Surprisingly all these threads eventually tie together with a satisfying ending.

The story is quite touching and humanizes the news stories everyone sees. One quibble: Allende has a tendency to 'tell' the details of her various characters' lives rather than weave a story which reveals their character. I've noticed that in some of her other books and again in this one. I find it prevents me from becoming more deeply immersed in the story.

I received an arc from the publisher and author via NetGalley. Many thanks. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.2023-netgalley 2023-reads historical-fiction47 s Constantine961 264

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Wind Knows My Name is a story set in dual timelines and follows multiple characters’ perspectives. The past timeframe focuses on the Adler family and the tough circumstances they were placed in during the Holocaust when they were living in Vienna. Samuel, the couple's kid, makes a recurrent appearance in the present throughout the entirety of the book. There is also the present-day timeline, which has the characters Anita, Selena, and Leticia. Every single one of them must contend with the myriad difficulties that are exclusive to their era.

This is the second time I read a novel by the author. The first one was last year’s Violeta and it was one of my favorite novels of 2022. Although this one, for me, is not as engaging as Violeta was, it is still a fascinating story. I feel the main reason for not loving it as much is because un Violeta the story does not concentrate on one single character but follows several ones at different timelines. Ignoring the other book as a point of comparison, I still believe that this story possesses significant virtues and appeal, and I believe that this is mostly due to the pleasant writing style of the author.

The Wind Knows My Name is a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery, set against the backdrop of a world undergoing major social and political upheaval. Allende's rich and evocative prose draws readers into these characters’ tumultuous lives and leaves them with a profound sense of hope and inspiration.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book.
giveaway-read netgalley x-4-star ...more44 s Helga1,099 248

There is a star where the people and the animals all live happily, and it’s even better than heaven, because you don’t have to die to go there.

1938. Samuel Adler was 5 years old when the atrocious event of Kristallnacht, the pogroms against the Jewish population of Vienna was carried out by the Nazis.
That was the night his childhood ended.

1981. Leticia Cordero was 8 years old when her whole family, her whole village, except herself and her father were killed in the brutal massacre of El Mazote in El Salvador.
She entered the United States clinging to the back of her father, Edgar Cordero, as he swam across the Rio Grande.
Will she ever forget?

2019. 7 year old Anita Diaz and her mother Marisol had to flee El Salvador in dire circumstances and seek refuge in the US only to be detained and separated at the border.
Could Anita ever re-unite with her mother?

Selena Duran is a social worker, currently involved with the Magnolia Project, helping refugees and immigrants, specially children separated from their parents.
She is searching for Anita’s mother.

Frank Angileri who is a first-rate lawyer at a prestigious law firm defending wealthy criminals never imagined one day he will be defending refugees and helping a non-profit organization.

These different characters with their different stories and their different backgrounds are going to converge and make a lasting impact on one another in this cruel and violence-infested world.

This was a moving and powerful, more plot than character –driven story by the master storyteller.historical-fiction history latin-american41 s Kasa Cotugno2,490 528

After forays into different literary forms, Isabel Allende returns to that which makes her such a special writer. The personal history portrayed against the backdrop of shattering events. The interweaving of histories that at first seem disparate, then seamlessly meshing. The fates of innocents caught in the crossfires, attempts to escape from Kristallnacht to horrendous massacres in El Salvador. And Allende incorporates her take on the effect of the cruelty of the tRump regime and their cluelessness regarding the COVID pandemic on the country and the world. Highly recommended.arc culture-el-salvador era-world-war-ii ...more42 s Literary Roamer213 33


Whhhhhhy didn’t I DNF this??? , I’m genuinely upset at myself, except that’s a tiny bit of a lie: I was invested in Anita even though the writing for her was just…hmmm.

This is a story about different people during different times and goes back and forth between them all. It winds up all interconnected but I swear I could not tell you how and who else is related other than the Anita thread. The whole book is a mess, and this one doesn’t say it’s a translation, so I don’t know what to think.

On the one hand, I appreciated the parallel between the trains that whisked away children to England during WW2 to keep them safe from Nazis, to desperate immigrant families risking it all to get their kids to the US. There are genocidal things happening in countries no one thinks about and this is an important story. Kids of all ages have been ripped away from their parents and it’s still so bad at the border. So I’m glad that Allende went there and was unafraid to do so, especially going into detail about the pandemic.

On the other hand, this book held no substance, just facts. It was I was reading a fact sheet throughout about 90% of the book. For (non-spoilery) example:

“He left that place, never to see it again. Next, he boarded a vehicle and cried for his mother. He was eventually in a boarding home that was awful, but then went to another place that was better, but he was still sad.”

It wasn’t storytelling, and that made the whole thing fall so flat. I think I’m done trying Allende books for a while. This is the second in a row that just didn’t do it for me. I felt zero emotional connection to any of the characters. The random romantic stuff wasn’t necessary in any way and added literally nothing to the story. I feel once every couple of months I have a book I should have stopped when I knew I wasn’t into it. This is one of those books.really-should-have-been-a-dnf41 s9 comments Debbie361 71

This is a poignant and moving novel that brings together a cast of characters that you can't help but root for. It's so gut wrenching when a story begins in Europe in 1938, because we already know from history what is going to happen over the next seven years; the atrocities that will be carried out by Hitler and the Nazi regime. Samuel, at the age of five, is put on the Kindertransport to England by his mother to save his life.

In a dual timeline in 2018, Anita Diaz is spirited out of El Salvador by her mother to protect them and escape possible massacre by guerilla soldiers. However, after a long journey. mother and child are rudely separated at the US/Mexican border. The stories of both Samuel and Anita open our eyes to the injustices endured by children over the decades who are involuntarily separated from their families. Samuel and Anita had some of the same experiences; group homes, foster homes, abuse, subpar educations, and loneliness. What was supposed to be a temporary situation in their lives, in order to escape brutality, turns out to change their lives forever and eventually brings them together.

With beautiful prose and extraordinary tenderness this author paints a sweeping portrait of unforgettable individuals who experience tragedy and triumph and end up finding each other.

My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for giving me the opportunity to read and review a digital ARC of this novel.netgalley40 s Lorna819 623

Isabel Allende is a storyteller at heart as she mines her many experiences knowing that there is a story there. The Wind Knows My Name is such a story. According to the Author's Note, it began many years ago at a small theater in New York where she saw a performance of Kindertransport, a play based on the true events of children saved from Nazi-controlled territory by organized rescue efforts. This tale begins in Vienna, November 9, 1938, with a sense of misfortune hanging in the air as Doctor Rudolph Adler closed his medical office early and fled to see his friend. It was on the eve of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. Young Samuel Adler was six years old when, after the disappearance of his father, he and his mother Rachel were sheltered and hidden during the Nazi reign of terror by a neighbor and retired career military officer, Theobald Volker. Volker loved to sit in the hallway and listen outside the door when young Samuel would play beautiful classical music on his violin. And it was thus that a friendship had been struck.

Rachel Adler did not want to leave without her husband but the opportunity to leave Nazi-occupied Austria was closing. However, she managed to secure a place on the last Kindertransport train for young Samuel Adler. With only a suitcase and his precious violin in its case, he was to board the train. Given a precious medal from Theobald Volker's uniform, he was told by his friend to keep it close as it would give him courage and remind him to be brave. As he was preparing to board the train for the United Kingdom, he was told that he would not be able to take the violin. Volker told the young English woman that he never went anywhere without his violin. As she persisted, Samuel took the violin from its case and began to play as a hush had fallen around the young musical prodigy with the air was filled with the music of Schubert. The Dutch woman who had organized the Kindertransport went over to Samuel to take him to his seat and with his violin. And Samuel was left with the image of his mother hugging him tightly as she sobbed. He would always remember his mother waving her handkerchief, held up by Colonel Volker's firm arm, as the train moved away.

And some eighty years later in 2019, young seven-year-old Anita Diaz boards a train with her mother while fleeing imminent danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. However, their arrival is when the United States had instituted a new family separation policy and the young blind little girl was taken from her mother and placed in a camp in Nogales. Her only respite was her silent retreat to her imaginary trips to a place called Azabahar, a magical world that gave her solace. But there is a young social worker who has recruited an attorney from a prestigious law firm in San Francisco to handle her case pro bono as they search for the girl's mother and fight to ensure her well-being. There is a thread of music and its healing powers throughout this beautiful and gripping book.

"No, we're not lost. The wind knows my name. And yours too. Everyone knows where we are. I'm here with you and I know where you are and you know where I am. See? There's nothing to be scared about."

"Nevertheless, Samuel was more optimistic, because the girl spent hours at the piano, lost in the notes, and he knew better than anyone the power of music. It had mitigated the anguish and uncertainty of his childhood and given meaning to his existence. He hoped it might do the same for Anita."
art central-europe great-britain ...more36 s21 comments davari3 6

this book was written after isabel allende researched "...instances in which children have been separated from their parents..." and gives historical examples that are ly lesser known, depending on the readership, than what occurred throughout the holocaust or what still occurs at the mexico-u.s. border.

it came across as a social issues 101 explainer about kids who survived atrocities, and how they're inherently connected, but without saying anything more than that.

everyone was devoid of personality outside of their lived experiences through tragedy and trauma besides their relation to other people who also experienced tragedy and trauma. but in a way that is so detached you never care much about who they are currently.

‣ samuel's chapters gradually became my favorite. hated that everyone perceived him to be a rickety emotionless "invalid" old man. can we stop with the flippant portrayals of ableism in relation to ageism. i understand that he says this at least once in a frustrated tone towards himself, but it's because it's perpetuated by young people that old people are incapable or lack in self-determination.

‣ leticia was literally only here to bridge the gap between characters

‣ hated frank and selena. they spoke to one another and behaved in such an outdated immature way, i couldn't believe their chapters were taking place in 2019/2020. it felt the first season of sex and the city so you bet your bottom fucking dollar their chapters were cringe as hell.

‣ frank is "watching his figure," makes multiple comments about selena being too curvy/overweight, and is initially only humanized because of his family members. fuck off, frank.

‣ selena is supposed to be the modern day nadine which sucks since they're both insufferable when it comes to their interpersonal relationships and communication (or lack thereof)

‣ so, i used to work with a blind student. one moment, they're talking about helping anita adapt as a blind person. getting her a brailler, looking into the school for the blind, and giving her a lot of auditory input. the next moment, they want her to get surgery to "fix" her vision so she can go to a "regular" school. , what? i thought we agreed she was irreversibly blind? the reason she's blind felt a cheap plot point to disseminate information. that rubbed me the wrong way. i appreciate that allende consulted experts and researched visual impairments, but, she created an odd dichotomy where she was flip flopping between blindness or no blindness.

a book that could have been written by anyone because there was nothing distinct about it.

thanks to ballantine books (an imprint of random house group) for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.netgalley33 s1 comment Judy1,283 31

Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors. I am a fan of her sweeping, epic novels which all feature strong and courageous women, as well as her advocacy of women's rights. I was excited to see this new book by her and grabbed it immediately.

The Description:
Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler was six years old when his father disappeared during Kristallnacht—the night their family lost everything. Samuel’s mother secured a spot for him on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to the United Kingdom, which he boarded alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin.

Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Diaz, a blind seven-year-old girl, and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. However, their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination she created with her sister back home.

Anita’s case is assigned to Selena Duran, a young social worker who enlists the help of a promising lawyer from one of San Francisco’s top law firms. Together they discover that Anita has another family member in the United States: Leticia Cordero, who is employed at the home of now eighty-six-year-old Samuel Adler, linking these two lives.

Spanning time and place, The Wind Knows My Name 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.

My Thoughts:
This is a heart-wrenching novel dealing with immigrants rights, love, loss, hope and most of all, humanity.

The story began in Vienna, 1938 where six-year-old Samuel Adler was forced to leave on the Kindertransport from Vienna to England without his parents during the Holocaust. He eventually was placed with a Quaker couple, but his original family was lost. I was heart-broken for Samuel.

My heart broke again for seven-year-old, nearly blind Anita and her mother. They were at a hospital I was on edge during Anita and her mother's flight from El Salvador to the United States, a journey that was fraught with hardship. Then they were faced with Trumps's family separation policy which had just gone into effect in the United States. Then I rooted for Selena in her quest to help Anita.

The timelines collide and I began to feel some hope for Anita's future as Selena teams up with Frank, a young attorney.

I highly recommend this book for those who journeys of courage. Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine through Netgalley for an advance copy. This book will be published on June 6, 2023.

33 s Emily Coffee and ary570 221

A sweeping novel of finding family and a true home. Set over 80 years and traversing continents, The Wind Knows My Name is a heartbreaking yet hopeful look into the effects of war and displacement on children, as well as the power and comfort that imagination offers. It is a testament to the sacrifices that are made at the hopes of a better life, and the ways in which we attempt to rebuild ourselves after tragedy. It is a beautiful ode to those who never stop fighting for justice and security, and to those who open their own hearts to those in need. A timely and thoughtful novel.family-saga women-in-translation ww231 s1 comment SabiReads624 70

3,5 ⭐️

Thank you NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and Isabel Allende for granting my wish to review “The Wind Knows My Name”. I will provide an honest review.

I never got a wish granted before, so excited!

This is my first novel by Isabel Allende.

At first I struggled a bit to get used to the very descriptive style. But once the story progressed, it was getting easier. There were parts I struggled with, emotionally but also with patience.

Kristallnacht in Austria. Brutal actions are taken against Jews. The Adler family has been doing well so far but as soon as the father disappears after the act, Rachel decides to send her five year old son Samuel on a Kinderzug to safety, to England.

We follow several generation who at first glance have nothing in common. The tale comes beautifully together. Several people are bound by tragedy and fate. We get a glimpse of the tragedies happening in El Salvador and with the immigrants trying to cross into the USA. Families are torn apart and reunited again.

I have to admit that the style of writing was not my favourite. I feared that from the beginning. It dragged especially towards the end. I felt the chapters were super long and the connection comes quite late. It felt random at time. My issue was with the writing, not the story.
But it shows beautifully what family does in order to survive and strive again. The book had flaws for me, but also beautiful passages. It left me a bit torn. 29 s Maria Yankulova814 311

В най-добрата разказваческа традиция на Алиенде “Вятърът знае името ми” ме потопи в епицентъра на мигрантските драматични епизоди по времето на Тръмп и множеството бутални кланета из държавите на Латинска Америка.

Въпреки тежките теми, които са ядрото на романа, Алиенде за пореден път ме подчинява с колоритните си женски образи, оплетените сюжетни линии, които се навръзват по страхотен начин и приключенията на главните ни герои. Самуел, Летисия, Селена и Надин разказаха своите истории по невероятно емоционален и въздействащ начин.

От предвоенна Виена, Англия, през Салвадор, Гватемала, Мексико до Сан Франциско и Бъркли в наши дни, Алиенде ме омагьоса и се влюбих в романа. Ако сте фенове на авторката определено не отлагайте прочита на книгата. Опасенията ми, че ВСВ ще е основна тема се разсеяха на около 40та страница след като осъзнах, че това е само началото на запознанството ни със Самуел.

Иска ми се новата книга да идва по-скоро, защото имам огромно желание да чета още Алиенде ❤��colibri30 s NILTON TEIXEIRA1,035 450

A very gripping story.
The translation from Spanish is excellent and the writing was very satisfying.
The storyline flows with a certain urgency, which in my opinion interfered capturing the deep emotions that should be part of the development. I think that the storytelling was too condensed. Regardless, I did enjoy this book.
All characters are very able, and there are plenty of heartbreaking moments .
As for the story, if you have never read books set during WWII, I’m sure that you will be impressed and very touched (the story starts in 1938 and ends in 2022 - and yes, the pandemic is mentioned).
For me, there was nothing new or different, even adding the aspect of surrealism.
I was expecting something remarkable, “The House of the Spirits”.
The conclusion felt rushed and a bit melodramatic.
This is a fast read, not because there are only 81k words, but because it is very engaging.29 s1 comment Laura Rogers 302 165

I seem to have a consistent problem with Allende's writing. For the most part, I feel emotionally detached from her characters. In The Wind Knows My Name, I loved the early chapters about Samuel Adler's childhood and freely admit that they made me cry. The rest of the book, not so much, and the end of the story felt rushed and incomplete.28 s Kristine 739 201

Heartbreaking at times, with Isabel Allende’s beautiful writing showing how peace and love can triumph over hate and pain. There were many characters stories and think that was perhaps too many, but that is my only complaint. Isabel Allende writes so eloquently and the story was wonderful. She is a treasure and I only discovered her books two years ago. Loved this story.

Thank you NetGalley, Isabel Allende, and Random House for a copy of this book. I always leave for books I read. 2023-new-releases challenge-12-4-books challenge-motley-2024 ...more29 s10 comments Nevin220

Isabel Allende did it again! Another five star book from this creative and talented author.

The Wind Knows My Name is a story about Humans atrocious behavior, yet kindnesses, infinite possibilities and love for one another. It’s the dichotomy of humanity. I have always wondered about that! What kind of species be capable of rape, torture, murder and at the same time create the most beautiful art, write the most heart ranching poetry, be inspiration for others… etc ???

The story line starts in 1938 and ends in 2022. There are different POVs that tell their horrific story which in the end all come together beautifully. Everything ties so well, I almost didn’t want the book to come to an end. I fell in love with each character and rooted for them all in different ways. Especially Anita stole my heart away!

If you are a historical fiction reader and enjoy a story of redemption in the end, please don’t hesitate to pick this book up!

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