A Long Petal of the Sea
The Sunday Times bestseller
‘One of the strongest and most affecting works in Allende’s long career’ New York Times Book Review
‘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
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.
‘An epic that starts in 1939 and spans decades and continents . . . A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging, and one that sheds light on the way we live now’ Independent.co.uk
‘Full of ambition and humanity’ Sunday Times
‘Allende knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time’ Colum McCann
‘Allende’s style is impressively Olympian and the payoff is remarkable’ Guardian
‘Epic in scope, yet intimate in execution’ i
Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity * New York Times * Allende's stories are delicate, their images akin to poetry -- Barbara Kingsolver Allende marries the fictional and the historical in lush, sprawling epics. A Long Petal of the Sea takes its place in the unparalleled canon she has created, exploring the sacrifices we make for the sake of those we love, and the love we sacrifice for the sake of our families -- Jodi Picoult A historical saga that sweeps from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of General Pinochet -- Highlights for 2020 * Daily Telegraph * Although this is fiction, Allende's epic is deeply rooted in fact, and often reads like a biography - of her homeland not least . . . [The characters] are brought alive by Allende's generous imagination and brisk, vivid prose * Daily Mail * An epic that starts in 1939 and spans decades and continents . . . A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging, and one that sheds light on the way we live now * Independent Online * If Allende's life depended on her narrative gifts, she'd not only survive, but reign * Los Angeles Times * Allende transcends the ordinary * Tatler * Her latest novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, is built on a recurring theme in Allende's work: the displacement of people . . . It is difficult not to see this novel as a reminder of the endless recurrence of history, or half a million Franco refugees fleeing Spain with many interned in harsh camps in France - of people fleeing from countries in which refuge is now sought * Irish Times * A gripping novel for our times, this confirms - again - that Allende is a consummate storyteller . . . Historical fact is exquisitely interwoven with personal stories as families are displaced by war, torn apart and reunited. A stunning portrayal of love, courage and hope -- Book of the Month * Woman & Home * Both an intimate look at the relationship between one man and one woman and an epic story of love, war, family and the search for home, this gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place, and also sheds light on the way we live now. Isabel Allende is a legend and this might be her finest book yet -- J. Courtney Sullivan, author of 'Saints for All Occasions' Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity * New York Times * Like many of Allende's books, it features strong women, displaced people and a powerful love story spanning generations . . . Allende identifies closely with the experience of upheaval that her characters endure . . . The theme of belonging runs deeper than just a sense of nationality. It is also a sense of belonging to a family, a spouse, a group of friends * Sunday Times * Isabel Allende is a grand storyteller who writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come -- Khaled Hosseini This is a novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand new to her work: what a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time. She knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time -- Colum McCann
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