John Irving – Avenue of Mysteries

Juan Diego is on his way to the biggest trip of his life: form New York to the Philippines. Yet, already the start of his journey is difficult, masses of snow lead to a delay, but while waiting at JFK, he meets Dorothy and Miriam who will change of a lot of his plans for the following days. However, the elderly author does not only travel to Asia, but also into his own past, remembering how he grew up on a Mexican dump together with his mind-reading sister Lupe, how Jesuits took care of them and how Lupe lost her life.
For readers of John Irving’s novels, the latest has to offer what you would expect from it: a great story of a whole life which is neither easy nor does it offer masses of luck and joy. Nevertheless, again, we get a multifaceted protagonist who is able to narrate his story andanalyse it at the same time, who is singular and at the same time representative for a whole group of persons. He offers insight in his very special life and makes the novel vivid and complex. Having both stories – the past and the present – at the same time also provide a lot of suspense, since at the beginning, you cannot really like the old and the young Juan Diego and you get curious to find out what happened to his life to make such a turn.

All in all, a wonderful story to indulge in.
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