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A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“A tale that is seductively intimate and strategically charming . . . a virtuoso of lucidly well-told, utterly enrapturing fiction . . . Allende deftly addresses war, displacement, violence, and loss in a novel of survival and love under siege.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A Long Petal of the Sea is a rich and transportive novel, epic in scope, about finding love and finding home.”—PopSugar
“An absorbing story.”—AARP
“An immersive read about love and survival.”—Real Simple
“Isabel Allende has time and again proven herself a master of magical realism. Her latest novel . . . serves as a paean to human love and endurance.”—Elle
“Allende fans have been waiting with bated breath for her latest novel, and A Long Petal of the Sea doesn’t disappoint.”—Marie Claire
“The wondrous Isabel Allende is back, doing what she does best.”—Read It Forward
“In addition to being well-researched historical fiction, it also parallels current issues.”—Book Riot
“Powerfully told, this is a soaring, inspirational tale.”—The Orange County Register
“Allende . . . has deftly woven fact and fiction, history and memory, to create one of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in her long career.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Allende’s latest . . . marks a return to the time and setting of the book that jump-started her literary career, The House of the Spirits, but with far less supernatural elements and a more expansive engagement of revolution, exile and the determination of the human spirit. . . . A page-turning story rich with history and surprising subplots that keep the novel unpredictable to the end.” —Los Angeles Times
“Isabel Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea gets to the heart of immigrant struggle. . . . [It] begins, as it ends, with the heart. . . . Victor and Roser’s story is compelling. . . . Allende’s prose is both commanding and comforting. The author writes eloquently on the struggle of letting go of one culture to embrace a new one and shows that one’s origin story is not the whole story. . . . While debate and policy surround the issues of refugees and immigration, Allende reminds us that these issues, at their core, are made up of individuals and their love stories.” —USA Today
About the Author
- ASIN : B07R9WKFRF
- Publisher : Ballantine Books (January 21, 2020)
- Publication date : January 21, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 5182 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 298 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,149 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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As she says in her acknowledgements at the end of the book, Allende mined her own family stories to create the framework for this novel. It starts during the brutal Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and ends in the 1990s in Chile. While there are a number of major, well-drawn characters, the focus of the book is a couple who made a "marriage of convenience" in order to flee to Chile at the end of the Spanish Civil War. They favored the losing side, and it wasn't safe to stay.
After a dangerous flight over the French border and near starvation in refugee camps, Victor Dalmau, a medic, and Roser Bruguera, is a young pianist who was taken in by Victor's parents, are able to reach Chile. Roser is pregnant by Guillem, Victor's brother and a fighter in the Civil War. But when it comes time for Victor and Roser to escape, Guillem has not been heard from for some time and is feared dead. In order to emigrate, the couple have to marry. So they agree on a marriage of convenience, and take a boat with thousands of other refugees to Chile.
All of that takes up about the first half of the book; the rest is about their experiences over the decades in South America. There are quite a few twists of fate, due to their own restless hearts and also because of the precarious political situation that develops in the country. But through it all, the pair do their best to survive, for their own sakes and that of Guillem's son, Marcel.
Isabel Allenda is a marvelous storyteller. Her prose is spare but descriptive, and she keeps the plot moving through more than 50 years of history. This is one of my favorites of her books.
Their journey will take them to France, Chile and Venezuela. Governments in those countries were also in flux. Before they get there, Victor has a brief fling with a spoiled, aristocratic Spanish woman. She has a child who is given up for adoption, a fact Victor never learns until he is much older. Victor becomes a good friend of Pablo Neruda the poet, who writes a poem about Chile, written on the ship called “Winnipeg” that gives this novel its title. Pablo is a Socialist and becomes persecuted and hunted because of his political beliefs; but it turns out he is mainly concerned with the love of people and freedom. He is responsible for two thousand refuges being allowed to emigrate from Spain to Chile. These refugees soon develop a fine reputation for being responsible families who improve conditions in Chile.
This is a family saga about those who face constant trials but do their best to work hard and avoid controversy. Their debacle in each of these countries is heartbreaking. Victor becomes a tough man as he experiences the horrors of war which he experienced as a medic and later as a doctor in Chile. Allende’s earlier novels are more about the Pinochet government in Chile but here we also get a glimmer of the military horrors creating suffering and death for far too many.
Victor earns a reputation as an intelligent, capable and kind cardiologist. Rosa is pragmatic, hard-working and loyally protective of Victor. His vanity is shattered when his love Rosa becomes terminally ill.
What is unique about this family saga is how positive these characters are even in the face of the most daunting challenges. It’s a beautiful tribute to the power of love and loyalty, faith and hope in mankind no matter what the prevailing political challenges and, like the title poem, a tribute to beautiful people and lands prevailing in victory even when caught in the prevailing tides and currents testing the mettle of those riding the formidable journey into a more hopeful existence.
Top reviews from other countries
Allende's love of Chile and sense of Homeland shines through the narative. It's another tough, beautiful book.