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Saving The World: Book summary and reviews of Saving The World by Julia Alvarez

Saving The World

by Julia Alvarez

Saving The World by Julia Alvarez X
Saving The World by Julia Alvarez
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2006
    384 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Alvarez's resplendent new novel takes us into the worlds of two women swept up in campaigns against the scourges of their day.

Alma Huebner, a Latin American novelist transplanted to the United States, is writing another of her bestselling family sagas. Her husband works for a humanitarian organization dedicated to health and prosperity in developing countries. He wants her to go with him, but she demurs. She must finish her newest novel.

In truth, Alma is sidetracked by the story of a much earlier idealist, Francisco Xavier Balmis, who in 1803 undertook to vaccinate the populations of Spain's American colonies against smallpox. To do this, he needed living "carriers" of the vaccine. Enter Isabel Sendales y Gómez, the rectoress of La Casa de Expositós. Isabel selects twenty-two orphan boys to be the carriers and joins them on the voyage. Her bravery inspires a very different novel from Alma.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this cleverly structured and seductive page-turner, Alvarez uses romance and suspense to leaven probing inquiries into plagues, poverty, and politics; altruism and self-aggrandizement ....." - Booklist.
"..her effort to find resonating similarities between the intertwined plots sometimes feels contrived..." - PW.
"... an unfocused attempt to make a statement about the haves and the have-nots .. Unfortunately, it does not bridge the chasm between authentic high-mindedness and sentimental twaddle." - Amazon.
"Alvarez's generosity of vision compensates for the not-altogether-convincing central conceit of her sixth novel." - Kirkus.

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Author Information

Julia Alvarez Author Biography

Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.

Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library's program "The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez."

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