The Wind Knows My Name

Books on Tape. Jun. 2023. tr. from Spanish by Frances Riddle. 8 hrs. ISBN 9780593740002. $85.50. F
In 1938 Vienna, following the devastation wrought during Kristallnacht, five-year-old Samuel Adler is sent alone to England to escape Nazi persecution. Samuel is the only member of his family to survive World War II. He becomes a talented musician and studies jazz in New Orleans, where he meets his future wife, a high-society activist and artist. Eventually, they settle in California. In 2019, seven-year-old Anita Diaz and her mother flee violence in El Salvador, crossing the border into the U.S., where they are detained. Anita is separated from her mother, and after several months, her mother disappears. Social worker Selena Duran takes up Anita’s cause, trying to locate her mother and get sanctuary status for both. Celebrated Chilean novelist Allende (A Long Petal of the Sea) connects the stories of these disparate individuals with observations on femicide, immigration, and exile, as well as family, love, and loss. The text is expertly performed by narrators Edoardo Ballerini and Maria Liatis. Ballerini brings his signature blend of lyricism and intimacy to his narration, while Liatis’s portrayal of Anita is particularly moving.
VERDICT Expect many holds; a powerful listen that should please Allende’s fans and those who like fiction that incorporates current affairs.
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