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Saving the World

A Novel
Alvarez, Julia (Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Saving the World
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Item Details

Latina novelist Alma Huebner is suffering from writer's block and is years past the completion date for yet another of her bestselling family sagas. Her husband, Richard, works for a humanitarian organization dedicated to the health and prosperity of developing countries and wants her help on an extended AIDS assignment in the Dominican Republic. But Alma begs off joining him: the publisher is breathing down her neck. She promises to work hard and follow him a bit later. The truth is that Alma is seriously sidetracked by a story she has stumbled across. It's the story of a much earlier medical do-gooder, Spaniard Francisco Xavier Balmis, who in 1803 undertook to vaccinate the populations of Spain's American colonies against smallpox. To do this, he required live "carriers" of the vaccine. Of greater interest to Alma is Isabel Sendales y Gómez, director of La Casa de Expósitos, who was asked to select twenty-two orphan boys to be the vaccine carriers. She agreed-- with the stipulation that she would accompany the boys on the proposed two-year voyage. Her strength and courage inspire Alma, who finds herself becoming obsessed with the details of Isabel's adventures. This resplendent novel-within-a-novel spins the disparate tales of two remarkable women, both of whom are swept along by machismo. In depicting their confrontation of the great scourges of their respective eras, Alvarez exposes the conflict between altruism and ambition.
Authors: Alvarez, Julia
Title: Saving the world
a novel
Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 368 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Julia Alvarez
Notes: "A Shannon Ravenel book."
ISBN: 9781565125100
Branch Call Number: FICTION ALVAREZ
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [365]-368)
Subject Headings: Smallpox Fiction Vaccination Fiction Balmis, Francisco Xavier de Fiction Expedición Marítima de la Vacuna (1803-1810) Fiction AIDS (Disease) Patients Family relationships Fiction AIDS (Disease) Patients Fiction Middle-aged women Fiction Married women Fiction
Genre/Form: Historical fiction
Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Smallpox
AIDS (Disease)
AIDS (Disease)
Middle-aged women
Married women
LCCN: 2005053064
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Sep 12, 2013
  • MarieGaffney rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is not only well enough written to not require (or house) any inappropriate content to be published, thus allowing any age level capable to read it, it was one of the very best historical novels i have ever read! Alvarez's wit and ingenuity in putting two sets of realistic and truly memorable characters together from different times to bring us into the ability to compare our lives with those of the past and so remember the goods and bads of past acts.

Mar 02, 2012
  • Biblioteqa12 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

A weier's conflicts as she is writing a historical novel. The jumping back and forth EVERY chapter took the interest out of the Writer's story. The book she was weiting seemed much more interesting. Her character had no dimension. I would have enjoyed reading the book the protagonist was writing.


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