Love is Not Unconditional, Says Isabel Allende

Who doesn’t want to talk about love and death…well, maybe more the love part, but still!  In her new book, Isabel Allende explores these two topics.

The Japanese Lover takes place in a retirement home where the residents — from the World War II era — are very much alive and continue to experience life through love and memories. Most importantly, Allende uses her main characters, Alma and a Japanese gardener to dive into the topic of conditional love and death, two of life’s inescapable experiences.

READ: These Latino Authors will Get You through a Breakup

Allende, who recently ended her marriage of 27 years at the age of 70, injects her own thoughts on conditional love into the story:

“In my long life, in my experience, you can love your friends unconditionally. Your parents. Your children. Your pets, of course. I love my dog unconditionally, but never the man I’m sleeping with. I want something back. It’s such an intimate and profound relationship that it cannot be unconditional. I can only compare the intimacy of sex with the intimacy of the mother with a newborn baby. But with a newborn baby, it is unconditional. It’s not the same when you are in a sexual relationship unless you feel that you are loved as you love.”

Find out how Isabel Allende’s story came to life and more about her thoughts on love and death here.

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