Isabel Allende is among my favorite writers so when I saw this book on my daughter’s bookshelf, I immediately grabbed it. According to the book jacket, this is the first youth fiction from Ms. Allende.
This book is about fifteen year old Alexander Cold whose mother is sick with cancer and he and his sisters are sent to live with their grandparents while their mother undergoes treatment in another city. His sisters go to one set of grandparents and Alex is sent to his eccentric grandmother in New York who planned to take him with her to an expedition to the Amazon. Before he even sets foot in the Amazon, Alex faces the urban jungle and immediately gets a dose of the gritty streets when a girl he befriends steals everything he has. You wonder if this is an omen of things to come.
You’ll have to read the Amazon adventure. I won’t give you any spoilers.
This book is just as much a tale about growing up as it is about the Amazon, the indigenous people, and the mythical beasts. In her typical fashion, Ms. Allende masterfully weaves the story with picturesque descriptions of the Amazon that you feel as if you are right there sweating and infested with bugs right along with the characters. I almost hated to see the novel end; but I am hopeful that there will be a sequel to this tale. There is a small hint about the next adventure being in the Himalayas 🙂