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A Long Petal of the Sea - Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea - Isabel Allende


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Our take

In “A Long Petal of The Sea”, the bestselling Chilean author, Isabel Allende, follows a married couple who have to flee from Spain under Franco, through French concentration camps to Chile and later to Venezuela after General Pinochet’s coup. Allende, who had to flee Pinochet’s regime to Venezuela herself, writes both from first-hand experience and historical research.
Spanning 50 years and offering a broad overview of generations and countries, the novel follows a couple who get married to secure their safe passage to Chile. Although this is just a marriage of convenience at first, love slowly grows between the protagonists as they search for a home over the background of upheavals, civil war, and oppression.

Publisher's description

On September 3, 1939, the day of the Spanish exiles' splendid arrival in Chile, the Second World War broke out in Europe.

Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life – and the fate of his country – forever changed. Together with his sister-in-law, the pianist Roser, he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile.

When opportunity to seek refuge arises, they board a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to Chile, the promised 'long petal of sea and wine and snow'. There, they find themselves enmeshed in a rich web of characters who come together in love and tragedy over the course of four generations, destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world.

A masterful work of historical fiction that soars from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of Pinochet, A Long Petal of the Sea is Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.

Praise and awards

'A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging' - Independent Online
'A defiantly warm and funny novel, by somebody who has earned the right to argue that love and optimism can survive whatever history might throw at us' - Daily Telegraph
'Allende's style is impressively Olympian and the payoff is remarkable' - The Guardian

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