The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
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Written in Isabel Allende’s trademark style, The Japanese Lover is a lyrical historical saga about two women: the young Irina Bazili and the elder Alma Belasco. The impoverished and reserved Irina meets Alma at a nursing home in California. Proving herself to be upstanding and trustworthy, she soon wins the respect and admiration of all those at Lark House, where Alma resides. But there is something in Irina’s past which she refuses to confront. Her murky, clandestine history prevents her from living a full and happy life—namely when she meets Alma’s grandson, Seth, who immediately falls in love with the devoted Irina. As the pair begin to investigate a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, they form a close friendship and discover the existence of Alma’s secret Japanese lover, whose relationship with Alma goes far back into the days of her youth.