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Summary

Bloomsbury presents A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende, read by Edoardo Ballerini.  

Sometimes, the difficult thing is not to flee but to return. A love letter to Chile that soars from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of Pinochet, and a stunning return to great storytelling heights, A Long Petal of the Sea is the much-awaited new novel from literary legend Isabel Allende. 

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 Bruguera, he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile.   

When opportunity to seek refuge in Chile arises, they take it, boarding a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to the promised ‘long petal of sea and wine and snow’ over the seas. 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 about hope, exile and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea is Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.

©2020 Isabel Allende (P)2020 Penguin Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity." (New York Times

 

"Isabel Allende is a grand story teller 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)  

"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)

What listeners say about A Long Petal of the Sea

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

First Allende book, perhaps not the best to start

in 12 week isolation, I needed company whilst to struggled to walk, in and around my smallish garden ( which I am thankful for) . my daily walk coincided with a chapter per day. The first half of the book was more interesting than the second. I didn't really empathise with any of the characters and elements of the story were predictable. But would I read another of her books. yes

7 people found this helpful

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Read like a history lesson

Found it difficult to like this book. The story of the Spanish civil war and chile were interesting and I realised how little I knew about both of these subjects .But the characters felt very flat and I found it difficult to care about any one. It felt as if Allende had done a lot of research and then slapped some characters onto her research work.

6 people found this helpful

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The writer

Isn’t she wonderful ? Thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking and I loved it. Tom Calvert March 2020

3 people found this helpful

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Superb writing, captivating, humane and historical

A real page turner for me. The characters are endearing and it provided an interesting insight into the life of Catalan immigrants in Chili during and after the Spanish civil war, which I knew very little about

2 people found this helpful

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love all Isabel Allende stories.

This book is historical, shows the struggle and tribulations of life beautifully. Anybody who ever had to leave their home country will be able to relate to this beautiful tale

2 people found this helpful

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a beautiful book.

A beautiful passionate story that documents well the impact of facism. I loved it immensely.

1 person found this helpful

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An engaging story

An engaging story, with seamless weaving of fact and fiction. Quite simple narrative style, however.

1 person found this helpful

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It was education

You get to travel a lifetime with Victor... A tough life but there is always hope. For me the story was a little too 'neat' I wanted everything to be tidied up and it was... But life is seldom like that. Its like a diary in many ways and will leave many of us humbled at how easy our lives are.

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Heartwarming novel

Beautifully narrated. A very tender love story with fascinating historical background. A great insight into the hardship of life during the Spanish Civil War and the military coup in Chile.

1 person found this helpful

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Life story of Victor

A beautiful story with great characters spanning 6 decades starting in Spain escaping the Spanish civil war to Chile. Living in hope, surviving and enduring war and all it brings with it to modern times.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-20

A story of exile, pain, triumphs and hope

A beautiful story of a family torn apart by the horrors of the Spanish civil war, and united in the adventures of exile, new beginnings and pursuit of dreams. A brilliant glimpse into South American politics through family traumas and love.