Last summer I went back to my hometown to spend a couple of weeks with my family.
As usual, it wasn’t only a reunion with mum and dad, but also a chance to dive into that little paradise I turned my old bedroom into: shelves and shelves of books, each of them a portal to a different universe.
In two weeks, I had plenty of time to get through the ghastly Dracula and some light-hearted – and hilarious – story by P. G. Wodehouse.
As the day of departure approached, I picked up one of my favorite authors and started reading ‘The Infinite Plan’ by Isabel Allende.
Then I forgot it on the bathroom shelf – yes, I read in the toilet, so what?
I only remembered about it when I got on the plane and looked for something to read. Then I realized, with great dismay, that I didn’t have my paper-companion with me.
Therefore, I left my reading a bit past the half of the book, just to resume it in November when, eager to know how it would turn out, I swallowed the last pages in less than a couple of days.
Gregory Reeves has spent his childhood roaming across the American West in a caravan with his family, while his father preaches about the Infinite Plan, a universal design in which everyone and everything falls into place, following a very precise plan of existence.
When Gregory’s father gets ill, though, they have to abandon the nomadic life and settle in the Hispanic barrios of Los Angeles.
Then, the Plan takes a whole different road.
Gregory has to deal with school and work, sex and ideas.
Part of the only white family in the Hispanic barrio, Gregory will be victim of discrimination and will find shelter in the Morales family, that will help him along his struggled and uneven path, with Juan Jose and Carmen always by his side.
He will study to become a lawyer, fight the war in Vietnam, miraculously survive and come back home to start a brilliant career as a lawyer, while living in luxury and spending far more than he gets.
He will marry the wrong woman and live a dissolute life, always in the search for something real, something that might give some sense to his existence.
Isabel Allende is a fine writer of that magical reality that surrounds us, one of the few who can actually see beyond the plain surface.
As she likes to say, every word she writes is true. If it has not happened, it certainly will.
She’s a wonderful truth-teller.
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To learn more about the author: Isabel Allende