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That September 2, 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.
'Allende's stories are delicate, their images akin to poetry' Barbara Kingsolver
'Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity' New York Times
'If Allende's life depended on her narrative gifts, she'd not only survive, but reign' Los Angeles 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