Download The Japanese Lover Audiobook

The Japanese Lover Audiobook, by Isabel Allende Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Isabel Allende Narrator: Joanna Gleason Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2015 ISBN: 9781442391246
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Now available in Encore! New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende has created “a magical and sweeping” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love story and multigenerational epic that stretches from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during World War II.

In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.

Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover is written with the same keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits. The Japanese Lover is a moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Allende’s magical and sweeping tale focuses on two survivors of separation and loss…Befitting the unapologetically romantic soul bared here—the poignant letters to Alma from Ichimei are interspersed throughout—love is what endures.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Author Isabelle Allende turns her prodigious talents to the ravages of WWII in this story of Alma, a young Polish immigrant who loses her immediate family to Hitler’s concentration camps. Soon after, one of her best friends disappears into the Japanese internment camps in the American West. Joanna Gleason narrates both the historical events and the modern story as Alma’s caretaker tries to piece together Alma’s secrets. Both story and narration are at their best during the WWII parts. Here Gleason’s voice wraps the listener completely into the events with her passion for the characters.”


  • “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.”


  • A November 2015 LibraryReads Pick
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week

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About the Author

Isabel Allende, born in Peru and raised in Chile, is the author of numerous novels, including Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and The House of the Spirits. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and have sold more than sixty-five million copies worldwide.

About the Narrator

Born Joanne Hall, Joanna Gleason was educated at UCLA, then Occidental College, from which she graduated. Joanna was in the TV Show Hello, Larry which was used as the basic outline for the 90s TV smash hit Frasier. She has also won numerous awards. In 1988 Joanna won the Tony as Best Actress for her role as the Baker’s Wife in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. She also won a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for the same performance. Since 1994 Joanna has been married to actor Chris Sarandon.