‘The Wind Knows My Name’

A story of sacrifice and dreams in the face of war and separation

By Stefanie Davis

Isabel Allende’s latest novel, “The Wind Knows My Name,” is a powerful, character-driven set of parallel narratives discussing the effects of war and immigration on two children during two different time periods. Samuel is 5 years old when the Holocaust tears apart his family, and his mother puts him on a Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. His father is sent to die at a concentration camp, and he never hears from his mother again. Samuel struggles as he is sent from one foster home to another, and then to an orphanage before settling long term with an older Quaker couple. Eight decades later we meet Anita, who boards a train with her mother seeking refuge in the United States from violence in El Salvador. Due to new immigration policy, Anita finds herself separated from her mother and alone at camp in Nogales, Ariz. A young social worker named Selena comes along, hoping to help find Anita’s mother. She enlists the help of a partner at a local law firm. Soon, all of the characters’ lives will intertwine. This is a story of family, love, persistence, sacrifice and dreams in the face of war and separation. If you enjoy this title, you may also enjoy “The Parted Earth” by Anjali Enjeti, “The Good Left Undone” by Adriana Trigiani, “The Last Train to London” by Meg Waite Clayton and “The Postcard” by Anne Berest.



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