John Irving’s newest novel explores fate, memory, faith, and the endurance of love between siblings. Juan Diego, a 14-year-old boy who has a gift for language, and his sister Lupe were born in a city dump in Mexico. Lupe has a vocal chord problem that leaves her unintelligible to most but not to Juan Diego, who understands her perfectly. Lupe is also a mind reader. She can see into people’s thoughts, their past, and also at times predict the future. Juan Diego leaves Mexico as a young teenager and becomes a famous novelist and professor in the States. Lupe does not come with him. Avenue of Mysteries is the story of their separation and of the magical worlds and bonds that tie them together, and is filled with humor and heart. —S.M.C.