“It is to Allende’s credit that she manages to make this unlikely romance, with all its twists and turns, both believable and affecting.”
Boston Globe

“With The Japanese Lover, Allende reminds us that, while not everyone has a true love, we all have loves that are true. Whether they be passionate, familial, unrequited or timeless, the one constant in our lives is love. And Isabel Allende celebrates them all, beautifully.”
USA Today

“With end-of-life issues looming over Alma, “The Japanese Lover” can’t be called lighthearted. But it’s often wryly funny, and always an absorbing argument for the power of love.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“At a San Francisco nursing home, a young man is mesmerized by what he discovers about two women: his secretive, sophisticated grandmother Alma and her caregiver Irina, an immigrant with a terrifying past. Allende’s engrossing narrative spans 70 years of tumultuous world history, but the powerful message you'll take away is that love—all kinds of love—will take root and endure under the most harrowing conditions”
People Magazine

“The spectre of the war and the illicit treatment of Japanese-Americans are never lost on the reader, although Allende is too subtle a writer to do any real proselytizing. It is a beautiful and significant love story that she tells, although I was so much more interested in her than in Ichimei as a character.”

“The Japanese Lover leaves the reader with images infused with color and life and a renewed sense of optimism in love, friendship, and marriage. Allende manages to pull this off with a novel that deals with some pretty heavy subject matter — the Japanese Internment camps, illegal abortion, child pornography, and AIDS. To live is to suffer and eventually die, Allende reminds us. But love endures.”

“With her engaging new novel, “The Japanese Lover,” Allende brings us a tale at once global and rooted deeply in Bay Area history, sweeping through time and across continents to explore the inner lives of two very different women in contemporary California.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Themes of lasting passion, friendship, reflections in old age, and how people react to challenging circumstances all feature in Allende’s newest saga, which moves from modern San Francisco back to the traumatic WWII years. As always, her lively storytelling pulls readers into her characters’ lives immediately… the story has many heart felt moments, and readers will be lining up for it.”

“In this highly anticipated novel, Isabel Allende spins a multi-generational epic of fate, war, and enduring love. On the eve of WWII, Alma Belasco is sent from her home in Poland to live with her aunt and uncle in San Francisco. There she falls in love with Ichimei Fukada, the son of their Japanese gardener. But the two are separated following the attack on Pearl Harbor, as Fukada’s family is forced to relocate to an internment camp. Destined to be apart, they must forever hide their love from the world.”
Harpers Bazaar

“Like the incomparable storyteller she is, Isabel Allende does not release us from the novel’s spell until the last pages, with a brief but bittersweet hint of her famed magical realism.”
Harvard Crimson