Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Midst of Winter” as Want to Read:
In the Midst of Winter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Midst of Winter

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  20,494 ratings  ·  2,669 reviews
New York Times and worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which b
Audiobook, 10 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Simon Schuster Audio UK (first published May 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Midst of Winter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Liz I was happy to see/hear her over a weekend several years ago. She has lived in the US for decades and is comfortable in both Spanish and English.…moreI was happy to see/hear her over a weekend several years ago. She has lived in the US for decades and is comfortable in both Spanish and English. However, she said that she "thinks" and "writes" in Spanish so all of her work has been written in Spanish and translated. The same woman has translated all of her books but both knew that perhaps a "back-up plan" should be in place. Allende and her translator had begun working with Allende's daughter, apprenticing in a way with the translator. Allende acknowledged the importance of her translator to the success of her books.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,494 ratings  ·  2,669 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Elyse Walters
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Smiling ear-to-ear!!!!! Awwwwww that was fun!!!

Isabel Allende - "QUEEN OF STORYTELLING"....born into a Chilean family - blends many of my favorite topics in this story ....., aging, pessimism, optimism, humor, seriousness ( political - social issues), history and personal background stories taking place in some of the most fascinating places on earth: Brooklyn, Brazil, Guatemala, Canada, and Chile,
.......chaos & drama, great chemistry between her characters, atrocious weather,
Angela M
I'm a fan of several of Allende's earlier books and this one seemed so promising at the start . Two fascinating, heartbreaking stories of Lucia and Evelyn both making their way to the US from horrific circumstances from two different places and two different times. They become connected through Richard whose story was intriguing and heartbreaking in its own right.

Richard is a university professor, landlord, acquaintance, and employer of Lucia , originally from Chili and a visiting lecturer. Eve
Isabel Allende has been a favorite author of mine since I read her House of the Spirits for the first time when I was in high school. Allende will always hold a special place in my heart because with her magical realism brand of writing, I gained entry into the world of Hispanic women writers, and have been Latin America and its writers ever since. Having read many of Allende's novels and memoirs at this point, I always find myself captivated by her writing, immersing myself in the novel for man ...more
Diane S ☔
This was the monthly buddy read between Angela,Esil and I. I love many of the books this author has written, although I thought her earlier novels were the most powerful. The first few chapters of this one are meant to familiarize the reader with the characters. Then we started exploring their back stories,and at first I thought this might be her most powerful book yet. Unfortunately didn't feel that way the end. She introduced something that seemed like a gimmicky artifice to me.

I asked mysel
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It's frustrating to read a book that feels like it could be so much better. Isabel Allende's latest book, In The Midst Of Winter, has a lot of promise but as it turns out I felt like it delivered a fairly disjointed uneven narrative. Lucia is a 62 year old Chilean, living temporarily in New York. Richard is Lucia's landlord, and he had lived for many years in Brazil. Evelyn is from Guatemala. One stormy night, Lucia, Richard and Evelyn are thrown together, and they end up telling each other thei ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life seems to dole out hopelessness like the flight of a wingless bird.

Richard Bowmaster looks out the window of his three-story brownstone in Brooklyn with much apprehension. Abundance is to be embraced unless it is the form of a snow storm. The city has all but shut down with its streets almost impassable. As a professor at NYU, no classes can be a point of celebration.

Tucked under another abundance in the form of blankets in the freezing basement apartment, Lucia Maraz considers her options.
So, you know when someone puts a plate in front of you and says 'It's hot. Don't touch the plate.' and you immediately touch the plate. You just had to see for yourself. Yeah, that's how I felt with this one. I read so many less than stellar reviews of this one but I had to find out for myself. I wanted to read this one since I first heard about it. Then I saw the wonderful Isabel Allende talk about the book and I couldn't *WAIT* to read it. Perhaps despite all the reviews, I still had such high ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Richard Bowmaster was Lucia’s boss at New York University where she had a one year contract as a visiting professor. Once the semester was over, her life was a blank slate: she would need another job and somewhere else to live while she decided on her long term future. Sooner or later she would return to end her days in Chile, but that was still quite a way off. And since her daughter, Daniela, had moved to Miami to study marine biology, and was possibly in love and planning to stay, th ...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
'In the Midst of Winter' is a beautifully written and quietly charming novel. In this story we are introduced to three characters, Lucia Maraz, Richard Bowmaster and Evelyn Ortega, whose lives become inextricably interlinked over the course of a few days in a winter storm in New York.

Simply put Lucia is a goddess. I love her. She's complex, she's wise, a bit batty, definitely lonely, incredibly funny and wonderfully dynamic... At almost sixty-two it feels like she has lived a 100 different live
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
In the Midst of Winter features three distinct individuals who are brought together during a crippling blizzard. All of Brooklyn is shut down. Richard Bowmaster, a 60-year-old academic, is on his way home from the emergency vet clinic when he rear-ends a vehicle driven by Evelyn Ortega, a youthful, fragile-looking undocumented Guatemalan. To his surprise and chagrin, she knocks on his door later that evening seeking help. Claiming limited Spanish-speaking skills, he enlists the aid of his tenant ...more
I have always been a Isabel Allende reader and admirer. As one of her millions of devoted followers, I feel blessed to have read her latest book.

Two people slowly fall in love; the reader is taken on a historical tour through Chili, Brazil, Guatemala, Canada; human trafficking; drugs and alcoholism; a murder mystery; and a few I might have forgotten. The story is packed with adventure, nostalgia, remorse, and so much more.

I was thinking about the associations we make between elements of our expe
A tale of a middle-aged academic woman in Brooklyn, Lucia, joining forces with a male colleague (and landlord and department head), Richard, to help a young undocumented woman from Guatemala in serious trouble, Evelyn. The latter works as a nanny to a gangster figure, whose car she has borrowed turns out to have a body in its trunk. Deportation is unacceptable because the gang MS-13 is targeting her and her family. The effort to help pulls Lucia and Richard out of safe routines, revives the spir ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isabel Allende

PUBLISHER Simon and Schuster Audio
PUBLISHED November 2, 2017

A relevant and lyrical novel that runs the gamut of emotions, blending humor, tragedy, depression and love.

IN THE MIDST OF WINTER begins with a minor traffic accident on a snowy morning in Brooklyn. Richard Bowmaster, a depressed 60-year-old human rights professor slides on the snow into the rear a white Lexus causing some minor damage. The Lexus is driven by Evelyn Ortega, a yo
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I have been a fan of Ms. Allende ever since I read “Daughter of Fortune” many, many years ago. I was looking forward to this book and the premise was a good one, but in the end it didn’t work for me. It seemed to me that Ms. Allende was trying to write an immigrant story but also a present day story filled with an unbelievable plot and three individuals who are all deeply scarred from their past. If this had been any other author I don’t know that I would have finished the book but I was looking ...more
Another review can be also found on my Booktube Channel
Books Beautify Life

The writing was great, the idea was fantastic... the actual book a bit disappointing.

What i would recommend with this is that if you are interested in reading this book know this:
The english translation is beautifully written, but the plot itself is very wide reaching, telling four different story lines at the same time and mixing them together in a way that i personally didn't love.

But if you don't mind different plo
Kasa Cotugno
With this book, Isabel Allende returns to subject matter that made her reputation as a premier storyteller. Invoking elements of magic realism into a powerful story of political terrorism. The title In the Midst of Winter holds a double meaning. The action of the present day which forms the framework, takes place during the Snowzilla called Jonas in January, 2016, but it also refers to the promise of summer in an ice bound land of old age.

Richard Bowmaster, an NYU professor of Latin American an
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books, apr-18
In The Midst Of Winter is written by Isabel Allende, a gifted storyteller.
There are three main characters in this novel. Richard is a 60 year old professor, Lucia is a visiting professor from Chile,living in Richard's Brooklyn basement apartment, and Evelyn is a Guatemalan refugee working as a caregiver for a young boy with cerebral palsy.
Brooklyn is blasted by a freak winter storm which leads Richard to rear-end Evelyn's vehicle, causing them to open the trunk where they find a dead body. Whil
Joy D
An unforeseen event brings three people together during winter storm Jonas in New York. One is an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, one a visiting writer-lecturer from Chile, and the other an academic working in New York. Each has been through heart-breaking tragedies and the story revolves around sharing these events from their past.

A significant crime is involved, but this is not a detective novel or a mystery-suspense-thriller. It is a slow-burning, character-driven narrative focused on the
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Evelyn, Richard and Lucia are brought together during a snow storm in this story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.

The past sequences were rather long, with deep measures of political history. I better liked the current time-line of Richard and Lucia. This book just didn't capture my imagination and interests.

This revolves around the stories of three NYC residents, all with a Latin connection, during a record-setting blizzard. Richard meets Evelyn after rear ending the car she was driving, and she later shows up at his door needing his help with the dead body that's in the trunk of that car. She is undocumented and quite upset. Richard enlists the help of his tenant and friend (and potential love interest), Lucia; and a rather madcap adventure ensues as they try to figure out what to do.

This story a
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.—Albert Camus
In the middle of a blizzard, Richard is moved to shed his twenty-five year long isolation and dares to love again, guided by Lucia, who has lost everything several times but still takes a chance on love.

What brings them together is Evelyn, an undocumented alien, the loving caretaker of a boy with Cerebral Palsy whose parents' toxic relationship and troubled lives has left her knowing more than is safe for he
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus

At the heart of this novel is a love story between two wounded and world-weary people in the winter of their lives. A traffic accident is the catalyst that sets this in motion as the two friends/colleagues help a young Guatemalan immigrant in
Erin Clemence
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

“In the Midst of Winter” is the newest novel by the great Isabel Allende. In this novel, a minor traffic accident brings together three people from different walks of life. When a 60 year old human rights scholar, Richard, hits the car of a young, undocumented Guatemalan woman named Evelyn, both parties are equally stunned but unhurt. Later, when Evelyn shows up at Richard’s door for
Agnieszka Higney
Disappointed,as Allende is a great,sensitive writer,who paints characters so well.This book read like a trashy geriatric erotica with thrown in murder mystery and current immigration agenda.What could be so thought provocative and touching,story of Evelyn,the illegal immigrant from Guatemala,finding her better life,turned into a farce and love story for self-obsessed Richard and Lucia.We get sensitive-sih flashbacks to life stories of people who in modern day,are ridiculous and off-putting.Felt ...more
Ron Charles
The emotional range of Isabel Allende’s new novel is stretched so wide that it’s a miracle the book’s spine doesn’t break. We’re used to dark comedies, the ironic mingling of humor and despair, but “In the Midst of Winter” is a light tragedy, an off-kilter mix of sweetness and bleakness held together only by Allende’s dulcet voice.

The title comes from a line by Camus, who knew something about the oscillations of joy and sadness himself: “In the midst of winter,” he wrote, “I finally found there
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Isabel Allende is one of my favorite writers and I always enjoy her novels. I was very happy to have the chance to read an advance copy of this book. This one was a good story of two different immigrants who came to the US through a chain of terrible events. Then there is Richard who has a heartbreaking story himself. Their lives intersect in the midst of a snowstorm in New York and the three of them become entangled in a conspiracy that could have turned out so badly. It's kind of far-fetched, ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
There's little praise-worthy to say about Allende's latest novel, the latest in a string of bad novels by this particular author. This one is about three characters, all of whom are, by remarkable coincidence, cursed with suitably miserable backstories that involve immigration to the U.S. from Latin America. Of the three, Evelyn has the most dramatic backstory, Lucia considerably less interesting, and Richard's was downright mundane. I understand that Allende draws from her personal experience a ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
This novel held a lot of promise, but in the end didn't quite deliver.

In the midst of a blizzard that has all but shut down NYC, Richard, Lucia and Evelyn find their lives intertwining by a twist of fate. Finding themselves in an impossible situation, they make a decision that will bond them for the rest of their lives.

There is quite a bit of back and forth in this novel. We hear each character's back-story, and try to learn how they arrived at their current position. This is where the narrative
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
“These things happen in life, Richard.”

“Not in mine.”

“Yes, I’ve realized that. But see how life refuses to leave us in peace? Sooner or later it catches up with us.”

Many readers may think this is going to be a stuffy love story between the old folks, it’s not. It’s good for the young to remember that even those of us past our days of blushing youth still feel many of the same yearnings and longing for love as bright eyed youngsters. Richard Bowm
Miriam Cihodariu
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Miriam by: Eduard Stan
Shelves: chile
This is a very nice novel by an epic author, not as majestic or dense as some of her earlier works, but still pleasant and overall worthy of appreciation.

I like a few things about it the most:
- the heavy back-stories of Evelyn and Lucia, detailing accounts of their harsh life in Guatemala and Chile (the killings, the gang violence, the government abuse, the drug lords etc.)
- the fact that Isabel Allende got the idea for the main narrative by crowdsourcing it with her son and his friends in the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Books Can Take Yo...: book discussion 10 5 Aug 13, 2019 09:16AM  
Play Book Tag: In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende - 4 stars 4 18 Feb 15, 2019 04:01PM  
Putnam County Pub...: January Book 1 6 Jan 16, 2019 08:43AM  
Retro Chapter Chi...: Jan 2018: In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende 29 18 Jan 30, 2018 03:44AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Night of Wenceslas
  • La vida cuando era nuestra
  • Encontro em Itália
  • The Door with Seven Locks
  • The Underground Railroad
  • A Célula Adormecida
  • The Walking
  • Los niños de la estrella amarilla
  • A Fórmula do Amor
  • Die Wormworld Saga: Die Reise beginnt
  • As Flores de Lótus (Trilogia do Lótus #1)
  • El haiku de las palabras perdidas
  • The Marriage Clock
  • Historias de Roma
  • Perguntem a Sarah Gross
  • La trahison d'Einstein
  • A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String
  • As Esquinas do Tempo
See similar books…
Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean-American novelist. Allende, who writes in the "magic realism" tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at s ...more
“The only cure for so much misfortune is love. It’s not the force of gravity that keeps the universe in balance, but the binding power of love.” 3 likes
“He was so unfamiliar with this peaceful sense of happiness he did not even recognize it.” 2 likes
More quotes…