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Saving the World (2006)

– tekijä: Julia Alvarez

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5651632,501 (3.26)11
A best-selling, Latin-American author living in Vermont, Alma stays behind when her husband travels to the Dominican Republic to help fight AIDS. She needs the time to work on her latest book, but she has terrible writer's block. Soon, her focus is diverted to an entirely new story, that of the early 19th-century anti-smallpox expedition of Dr. Francisco Balmis. Accompanying Dr. Balmis was Doą Isabel, who cared for the orphan boys serving as living carriers of the smallpox vaccine. It is the narrative of the courageous Doña Isabel that provides hope and inspiration when Alma's husband is taken captive.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Honestly, this book probably deserves more stars. It is beautifully written, and, unlike some of the other reviewers, I liked the back and forth between the two stories/time periods. The themes of the present day events are illuminated by the events in Isabel's story; Alma's story would certainly lose something if readers were not able to read the novel she is working on.

But I don't plan on re-reading it, and I can't think of friends to whom I'd recommend it off-hand.

It was ultimately much more sad than I'd expected, either from the cover copy or from the beginning of the novel itself. In fact, the tragedies of the latter half of the novel seemed to undermine the hopefulness so much a part of the beginning. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
i had no idea about the historical parts of this book - the way balmis brought (or tried to bring) the smallpox vaccine all over the world. so interesting how it had to be done back then, to keep the vaccine active. and an interesting fiction to make of it. i was less interested in the present day parallel story for most of it. although the common themes of poverty, who gets medical treatment/care, and more were all intriguing. especially the main issue (based on the title) of spending your life to save the world of one thing (in this case smallpox) and see it ruined by something else (in this case war). do you still try? is it worth it? can you justify the sacrifices that must be made (that includes people) if the world will fall to something else? what does it mean to save the world if it's at the cost of certain people and their sacrifice? what does it mean to save the world if that's from the perspective of wealthy white people, bringing "salvation" to poor people of color in a different part of the world?

really interesting conceptually, and she writes well. i'm not even entirely sure why i'm not wholly satisfied with it. it's good, but not great. thematically, though, it's fantastic. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Feb 27, 2018 |
I had never heard of the Smallpox expedition to Spanish America. It was interesting to learn about. Francisco Balmis is portrayed as a brilliant yet flawed man. I had never thought about what they would have had to done to keep the smallpox vaccine viable. With no refrigeration it would have to be live carriers. I loved Isabella's struggle to maintain hope in the face of the obstacles that they faces. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 26, 2017 |
It was slow to begin with - especially since every other chapter is written in the 3rd person which I find less compelling. But it was good story and I felt like I had read a good book and learned something when I was finished. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
A historical fiction novel that tells the story of Don Francisco Balmis, the courageous Spainaid who embarked on a two year voyage across the world to rid the world of smallpox. He left Spain with 22 orphan boys who were live-carriers of the disease in order to vaccinate people in an attempt to rid the future populations of this deadly disease. Along with him,Isabel,an orphanage director accompanies and acts as a caregiver and 'mother' to these boys. Along the way, they were met with hostility and skepticism and the travelers grew weary with illness and indifference. Alongside this tale, we hear about Alma, a modern day Hispanic novelist who is intrigued by this story of Balmis and Isabel. Her husband,Richard, a do-gooder and an employee of HI (Help International) goes to the Dominican Republic in an effort to set up a clinic that will research the AIDS epidemic and help the poverty striken population. Richard, is taken hostage by a radical, yet youthful and inexperienced group and global-relations, diplomacy and peacefulness are shattered. Isabel finds she is drawing strength from the tale of Isabel and draws reserve from the calm that Isabel's gift as a story-teller brings to soothe the orphan boys' fears. The two stories are told in tandem and the reader is equally immersed in both tales as they attempt to meld together. ( )
  jackiewark | Aug 2, 2013 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
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For Bill
believer
Ensimmäiset sanat
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In the fall of her fiftieth year, Alma finds herself lost in a dark mood she can't seem to shake.
Sitaatit
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I am living in this very real, distressing world, and I am having desperately to dream in order to go on living. (p. 349)
Somebody's got to do it. Just like someone has to go to the edge and look and come back and tell about it. That was always her part...But what if what she has seen is not something she wants to broadcast? What if there's nothing but the still, sad music of humanity over that edge? What does she come back and tell? We're floating on faith. We're floating on love. (p.170-1)
We must not live entirely, or even mainly, for our own time. The soul exceeds its circumstances. (p. 165)
We don't stand for something that can be argued or taught in a book in a school. Wat we stand for is not an opinion, it is an intuition. (p. 279)
Viimeiset sanat
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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A best-selling, Latin-American author living in Vermont, Alma stays behind when her husband travels to the Dominican Republic to help fight AIDS. She needs the time to work on her latest book, but she has terrible writer's block. Soon, her focus is diverted to an entirely new story, that of the early 19th-century anti-smallpox expedition of Dr. Francisco Balmis. Accompanying Dr. Balmis was Doą Isabel, who cared for the orphan boys serving as living carriers of the smallpox vaccine. It is the narrative of the courageous Doña Isabel that provides hope and inspiration when Alma's husband is taken captive.

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