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The Wind Knows My Name cover art

The Wind Knows My Name

Written by: Isabel Allende,Frances Riddle - translator
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini,Maria Liatis
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Publisher's Summary

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “The lives of a Jewish boy escaping Nazi-occupied Europe and a mother and daughter fleeing twenty-first-century El Salvador intersect in this ambitious, intricate novel about war and immigration” (People), from the author of A Long Petal of the Sea and Violeta

“Timely, provocative . . . emotionally satisfying . . . [a story about] the kindness of strangers who become family.”—The New York Times Book Review

AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler is five years old when his father disappears during Kristallnacht—the night his family loses everything. As her child’s safety becomes ever harder to guarantee, Samuel’s mother secures a spot for him on a Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. He boards alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin.

Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Díaz and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. But their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and seven-year-old Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes her tenuous reality through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination. Meanwhile, Selena Durán, a young social worker, enlists the help of a successful lawyer in hopes of tracking down Anita’s mother.

Intertwining past and present, The Wind Knows My Name tells the tale of these two unforgettable characters, both in search of family and home. It is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers—and never stop dreaming.

©2023 Isabel Allende (P)2023 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"[An] homage to parents who make unthinkable decisions to save their little ones, and to kids who survive some of the toughest challenges imaginable.”—Associated Press

“This beloved author transports us to two dark periods in history: Nazi-overrun Vienna in 1938 and the current dire situation at the border between the United States and Mexico. . . . Both stories are rich enough to carry the weight of one novel, but Allende expertly intertwines them. Employing her signature touch of magical realism, she wraps us in a compassionate story that reminds us ‘we could all just as easily find ourselves in similar situations.’”The Washington Post

“Allende’s artistry shapes a lyrical romanticism around social political history and global turmoil . . . [Her dialogue is] current, relevant and real. Our civic discourse is centered by a multitude of voices talking about two things—immigration and identity—who belongs and who doesn't, and how to care for the dispossessed. In Allende’s version healing is possible, because empathy is a hopeful, albeit inconsistent, follower of migration.”—NPR

What listeners say about The Wind Knows My Name

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Poignant and Important

Tying the story of child refugees across continents and time Isabel Allende has delivered another outstanding novel. This story is important in this time of political hard liners, a rise of extremism world wide and the continuing trauma running from violence engenders. As usual, Ms Allende’s writing is lyrical and her story captivating. A great read.

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Excepted more from this book

This is a heartbreaking book following the life of two children from two different centuries that experienced the similar life tragedies.
However, I was expected more from this author. I like the beginning of the book, the Samuel’s story, but than I got lost in the new not really defined characters in the Anita’s story. In my opinion there are not enough details in that story that could help the reader to really connect to the characters. The story sounds more like a combination of the newspapers clippings and the articles from some lawyers documents. I think these two stories are very important stories to tell, especially the today’s relevant Anita’s story, and I am somewhat disappointed that this book didn’t go deep enough.

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Allende does it again. Wonderful story!

Fabulous book. Allende does it again. Should be required reading in high school curricula world wide!

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  • J. Mirabal
  • 2023-06-08

Reminiscences of House of the Spirits; too short, underdeveloped

Allende is my favorite Latin American writer. Her storytelling is amazing. But this this time around, Allende provides bones to what ought to have been a compelling story at the level of “House of the Spirits.”

This story begged to be told. It needed far more character development in order to carry the impact it was capable of changing people’s thinking - particularly regarding the US’s immigration policy.

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  • Judy L
  • 2023-06-17

Children separated at border

Makes you aware of the southern border terrible conditions especially for children separated from mothers.

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  • GTG
  • 2023-06-14

Gripping Reality on Human Suffering

This book touched so many times where children were made to suffer. I didn’t want the story to end and hope there’s another to continue where Anita leaves off.

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  • Flamenco Romántico
  • 2023-06-14

A wonderful book

I just wish the wonderful book did not end so soon. I did not want to say goodbye to any of the characters. It is an important novel with an important message and of course it is beautifully written.

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  • Sewing Fan
  • 2023-11-12

Excellent

Thoroughly loved the story, and highly recommend. I appreciated the editors notes on how this was developed. These voices in the book will stay with me.

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  • Lucia Tyler
  • 2023-10-29

Heartwarming


This is an heartwarming story. Relevant to the immigrant crisis today. The narrator is excellent.

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  • Christina
  • 2023-09-23

Good- but the plot was all over the place

I appreciate the author’s intent but the story was doing too many things at once. The plot string wasn’t woven well enough. I happen to agree with everything the author conveyed. My criticism is the plot points unfolded at a surface level and didn’t bring out appropriate emotion for the reader.

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  • Laurel S.
  • 2023-06-19

Every chapter is riveting and heart breaking!

During recent years, Americans have been politically divided over what to do with refugees seeking asylum in the US. All over the world, developed countries are dealing with an influx of refugees. Allende’s poignant story enabled us to visualize the plight of these desperate people. In her usual eloquent language she brings reality to this humanitarian crisis. I am impressed with how she wove different time periods and the voices of various characters to narrate this story. Beautiful beautiful novel!

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  • BETTY HOLDER
  • 2023-06-15

Great storyline

The Wind Knows My Name incorporates current topics and blends them well wit historical events to make a well-rounded story. It is beautifully detailed.

It gives the reader much to think about by the end. Isabel Allende’s stores are so well written. They are hard to put down while reading!

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  • Vanessa Saucedo
  • 2023-06-13

Isabel has done it again

I couldn’t stop devouring these stories. Isabel, you have ruined me for other authors. Thank you for that.

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