➯ A Long Petal of the Sea Read ➸ Author Isabel Allende – Higo2cam.info

A Long Petal of the Sea From The New York Times Bestselling Author Of The House Of The Spirits Comes An Epic Novel Spanning Decades And Crossing Continents, Following Two Young People As They Flee The Aftermath Of The Spanish Civil War In Search Of A New Place To Call HomeIn The Late S, Civil War Gripped Spain When General Franco And His Fascists Succeed In Overthrowing The Government, Hundreds Of Thousands Are Forced To Flee In A Treacherous Journey Over The Mountains To The French Border Among Them Is Roser, A Pregnant Young Widow, Who Finds Her Life Irreversibly Intertwined With That Of Victor Dalmau, An Army Doctor And The Brother Of Her Deceased Love In Order To Survive, The Two Must Unite In A Marriage Neither Of Them Wants, And Together Are Sponsored By Poet Pablo Neruda To Embark On The SS Winnipeg Along With , Other Refugees In Search Of A New Life As Unlikely Partners, They Embrace Exile And Emigrate To Chile As The Rest Of Europe Erupts In World WarStarting Over On A New Continent, Their Trials Are Just Beginning Over The Course Of Their Lives, They Will Face Test After Test But They Will Also Find Joy As They Wait Patiently For A Day When They Are Exiles No , And Will Find Friends In The Most Unlikely Of Places Through It All, It Is That Hope Of Being Reunited With Their Home That Keeps Them Going And In The End, They Will Find That Home Might Have Been Closer Than They Thought All Along 4.5 So very glad that Allende has returned to form I had trouble with her last few books, though her earlier novels were outstanding Historicals are definitely her forte as this book about demonstrated.This is the story of Victor and Roser who get together under tragic circumstances It is also a story of war, refugees, displacement and making a new country one s home The Spanish Civil War, Franco and his terror, which sends many fleeing to France where they are not welcomed Pablo Neruda, an 4.5 So very glad that Allende has returned to form I had trouble with her last few books, though her earlier novels were outstanding Historicals are definitely her forte as this book about demonstrated.This is the story of Victor and Roser who get together under tragic circumstances It is also a story of war, refugees, displacement and making a new country one s home The Spanish Civil War, Franco and his terror, which sends many fleeing to France where they are not welcomed Pablo Neruda, and his ship the Winnipeg Neruda sponsored and chose a group of refugees that would settle in Chile Roser and Victor are among this group and will result in a lifelong friendship In Chile Victor plays chess with Allende, a duly elected President, though not for long Replaced by the Generals in a coup that will result in Pinchocets dictatorship The historical facts are true, as are the people A book that shows love can grow, even under the worst possible circumstances Victor and Roser are wonderful, fully realized characters The prose is terrific, and resulted in a very readable, well flowing story The status and non welcoming of refugees is current today, where many are fleeing danger in their own countries, trying to find safety, a new life The refugee camps, also still present today, are found I many countries , detention centers in my own As always when reading historicals I am disturbed to find how much my own country is involved in the fate of others Wish it wasn t so, but it is what it is We can t change history but one would think we could learn from it and do better Wishful thinking I really struggled with this book and was shocked as I really enjoy Allende s work Ines of My Soul being my favorite of her books I enjoyed the beginning, Roser comes from nothing and is adopted by a wealthy man and she has a gift for the piano She falls in love with a young soldier who dies before their son is born His brother Victor marries her to give the boy a father and to help her get to Chile with him You see, people are fleeing Spain and Roser and Victor can get on a boat sailing to I really struggled with this book and was shocked as I really enjoy Allende s work Ines of My Soul being my favorite of her books I enjoyed the beginning, Roser comes from nothing and is adopted by a wealthy man and she has a gift for the piano She falls in love with a young soldier who dies before their son is born His brother Victor marries her to give the boy a father and to help her get to Chile with him You see, people are fleeing Spain and Roser and Victor can get on a boat sailing to Chile He is a doctor and she is a musician They can contribute to their new country and make a life for themselves there Their book follows their life together, how they grow individually and together How they share a deep bond and how they survive through their travels.There are many themes here and this book is based on historical facts, but it just failed to grab me It is slow moving and that is part of the issue It is a slow burn and normally I don t mind that but, in this case, it didn t work for me I don t know if it was my mood at the time or my inability to connect with her story telling This is one of those books that I can say, I enjoyed but it won t stay with me for long Again, this took me by surprise as I normally have thoroughly enjoyed all her books I encourage readers to read all reviews are decide for yourselves.Thank you to Random House Publishing House Publishing Group Ballantine and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own It is January and that means the winter doldrums I am afflicted with seasonal affective disorder each winter and combat it with a jolt of vitamin d and an annual trip to Florida A week in the sun under the palm trees usually does the trick until I return to the winter gloom There have been years where I haven t picked up a book for five weeks and been miserable until this year when I realized the best way to combat winter blues magic, orspecifically books by my favorite authors I firs It is January and that means the winter doldrums I am afflicted with seasonal affective disorder each winter and combat it with a jolt of vitamin d and an annual trip to Florida A week in the sun under the palm trees usually does the trick until I return to the winter gloom There have been years where I haven t picked up a book for five weeks and been miserable until this year when I realized the best way to combat winter blues magic, orspecifically books by my favorite authors I first found out about Isabel Allende s new book last summer and was giddy with anticipation Allende has been my favorite author since she first introduced me to Hispanic magical realism and the Latina amiga authors way back when I was in middle school I have journeyed through her books over most of my life, rereading my favorites multiple times Her last book In the Midst of Winter left a bad taste in my mouth because it was devoid of both the magical realism and historical fiction that has made her a leading author of her generation With reviews heralding A Long Petal of the Sea as a book that places Allende at the peak of her powers, I knew that this would be a must read for me and a highlight of my reading year Suffice it to say, this time around Allende did not let me down Upon reading the first lines of A Long Petal of the Sea, I knew that Allende had returned to her bread and butter The premise reminded me of Daughter of Fortune, a quality historical fiction novel that she wrote from the heart but has little magical realism In both cases, the fast moving story that still takes the time to develop complex characters is magic in itself It is 1936 in Barcelona, Catalonia The Spanish Civil War has threatened to destroy the country as Franco and his forces have attacked both communist and resister forces to their breaking point Told on the eve of a war that threatened to destroy the European continent, Allende introduces her readers to the Dalmau family Marcel Lluis, a music professor, and his wife Carme, a teacher, along with their two sons Victor, a doctor serving along the front lines of the war, and Guill m, one who has yet to find himself but is serving in the army as an able bodied person The Dalmaus are also the surrogate parents to Roser Bruguera, a promising pianist, the heart and soul of this novel and the love of Guillem s life Although Franco threatens to ruin the Spain that citizens like the Dalmaus call home, the love between Guillem and Roser give hope for a new generation until Guillem is killed at the battle of the Ebro, and Victor promises to get his mother and sister in law to safety in France Europe is on the verge of exploding so 1939 France is no safer than Spain Forward thinking citizens are fleeing to any North or South American country that will take them in, leading to a mass migration of humanity Pablo Neruda, a communist who is also the leading poet of his generation and future Nobel laureate, sponsors a ship named that Winnipeg that will allow Spanish refugees to find a new home in Chile, that long petal of the sea at the end of the world Carme is separated from Roser but Victor pleads his case to Neruda after he hastily marries Roser so that she and her son Marcel can have a better future Neruda admires Victor s quick thinking skills and tells him that there will always be a place in Chile for people like him, also setting a course for the two to enjoy a life long friendship The doctor who at the time is married in name only earns a place on the Winnipeg, ensuring that his family will take root in a foreign country Mirroring Daughter of Fortune twenty years earlier when Eliza Sommers seeks to immigrate to California from Chile, the Dalmaus set sail from Spain to Chile, setting the stage for a saga that spans another fifty years against the backdrop of a country that undergoes immense political and internal upheaval Victor Dalmau will become a symbol for many of these changes as Allende tells aintricate tale of her country than the one that first made her famousthan thirty years ago Quality historical fiction tells the story of a time and place while also weaving the tale of a complex characters over the span of time At her best, Allende does this as well as anyone A Long Petal of the Sea is the story of both her country and her family In the course of parts two and three of this novel, she includes anecdotes of Pablo Neruda, her uncle Salvador Allende, the Pinochet regime, and the refugees who were forced to seek asylum in Venezuela This is her personal story so one can sense that it was told from the heart Victor Dalmau through his relationship with Felipe del Solar and his wealthy family becomes a respected surgeon in Santiago He had put down roots for himself by establishing the Winnipeg tavern as a Catalonian watering hole so that new immigrants would feel comfortable in their new country, while paying homage to the ship that brought them to freedom While running the tavern, Roser went to work at the university making a name for herself as a gifted pianist and teacher Marcel grows up behind the bar in an environment permeated by adults and is gifted beyond belief, earning a PhD in mineral engineering Over time, Victor and Roser s marriage becomes one of tender love rather than just convenience, and members of Allende s family begin to show themselves in the peripheral characters in the novel, resulting in a story that is powerful at the close Isabel Allende notes that this story tells itself She got the inspiration for parts of the prose while her family was exiled in Venezuela and she met fellow refugee Victor Pey, who had a lifetime of stories to tell her about their homeland At the time, Allende did not think that she was going to be a writer, yet, the magical part of her family s story was already on her mind as she began to write House of the Spirits When it came time to write A Long Petal of the Sea, the story began to tell itself There are so many themes here that are prevalent in Allende s novels that make this a special novel an homage to Chile, strong female characters in Roser Bruguera and Ofelia del Solar, forbidden romance between lovers of different stations of society and the ensuing consequences I have revisited these in Allende s opus and complementary trilogy, which makes her reinventing herself toward the end of her career all thespecial Her uncle President Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda play prominent roles to advance the plot, ensuring that Victor Dalmau is not only forever grateful to the Chilean people for furthering his family s existence but that he also has a front row seat to the history unfolding before him With a sparkling cover to symbolize the hope the Spanish war refugees must have felt upon arriving in Chile, A Long Petal of the Sea is sure to reel in a reader from its first pages It may not be permeated in magical realism, but it is a moving historical saga that has all the key elements of a quality Allende novel Historical figures, love triangles, the story of her own family, and appearances by recurring characters all play a role in the development of this novel Isabel Allende has told the story of the Spanish Civil War while also weaving the history of Chile during the course of the 20th century If this is the novel that she has written as a swan song to her illustrious career, then the story of the Dalmaus and Del Solar families is sure to merit a place next to her award winning novels This time, Isabel Allende did not disappoint Her homage to Chile has helped to rescue me from the winter doldrums and while it is not rich in magical realism, the story is pure magic 5 stars I just can t get into this one The historical period was specifically what attracted me to the book but it overwhelms the story too much research, too little character all feeding into the list like nature of the prose It s impossible to feel any kind of emotional connection to a catalogue of this happened and then this happened, this is what this person thought of it And then this happened Page after page.I ve read academic history books withfeeling. Allende can romanticize the simple things Just as she does with this title to describe where Chile snuggles into South America and the Pacific Ocean.Her descriptions are so vivid you can smell the ocean see the vibrant colours hear the voices of country.A story of the Spanish war that leads to a migration Another generational story rich with characters, relationships and history Maybe a little slower than some of her other works but appreciated the work that went into the research Gives me Allende can romanticize the simple things Just as she does with this title to describe where Chile snuggles into South America and the Pacific Ocean.Her descriptions are so vivid you can smell the ocean see the vibrant colours hear the voices of country.A story of the Spanish war that leads to a migration Another generational story rich with characters, relationships and history Maybe a little slower than some of her other works but appreciated the work that went into the research Gives me a wanderlust to travel.My adoration for Allende continues 4 Isabel Allende is one of my favourite authors and I have read a lot of her books over the years This one is a real epic in every sense of the word and I read with fascination, admiration and at times horror at what humans inflict on fellow humans The central characters are Victor Dalmau and Roser Bruguera and the novel takes us from the Spanish Civil War to Chile in 1994 Victor and Roser fight on the Republican side against Franco s Nationalists, they flee Spain and go to France, from there t Isabel Allende is one of my favourite authors and I have read a lot of her books over the years This one is a real epic in every sense of the word and I read with fascination, admiration and at times horror at what humans inflict on fellow humans The central characters are Victor Dalmau and Roser Bruguera and the novel takes us from the Spanish Civil War to Chile in 1994 Victor and Roser fight on the Republican side against Franco s Nationalists, they flee Spain and go to France, from there they eventually go to Chile as poet Pablo Neruda hires a ship The Winnipeg to rescue some the trapped Spanish citizens The long petal of the sea in Chile and this is how Neruda describes it to those he has rescued Each chapter has some of Neruda s words or poetry which is lovely Here are real events combined with fictional characters to create an amazing historical novel This is an incredible story which takes an overarching look at real events and to me it felt like a docu drama I like the first part of the bookthan the second as I think the storytelling of the Spanish Civil War is very compelling I had Picasso s masterpiece Guernica in my mind as I read about the shocking events The part of the story in Chile is very good and at times shocking Pinochet s military dictatorship is well documented and is part of other books by Isabel Allende I think perhaps because I knew less about the story set in France and Spain and so I enjoyed those sectionsMy one criticism is that the story is told in the third person and at times this feels a bit impersonal but I m assuming this is a deliberate choice as at times the characters have to detach themselves from horrific events around them The book has many themes There is love especially between Victor and Roser, there is hope symbolised by The Winnipeg and a new life in Chile, there is a desire to find a place to belong as Victor and Roser s life journey took them to several countries, there is war and dictatorship, there is bravery and survival This is a massively ambitious book and tremendous respect goes to the author for daring to tell such a huge story There are some fantastic descriptions and one of the ones that I will remember is when Victor felt his heart physically break with the reality of the Nationalist victory in Spain and the consequences of that for him and others The characters real and imaginary are fantastic I especially love Roser as her optimism in the face of terrible odds is inspirational and Victor is brave, loyal and deeply caring Some of the events are heartbreaking and shocking both in Spain and Chile I had no idea that France called the Spanish refugees Undesirables and either sent them back to Spain or put them in concentration camps where many died That Roser and Victor survive to live on so successfully in Chile is miraculous This is a soaring, inspirational tale which had me gripped from start to finish and I like that the book finishes on an optimistic note for Victor Many thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Thank you, Random House and Ballantine Books, for the gifted copy Isabel Allende has long been one of my favorite storytellers, ever since I read The House of the Spirits La Casa de los Espiritus in Spanish while in college I was lost in A Long Petal of the Sea So much so, I slowly savored reading it over a month s time, which I rarely do I needed to read it slowly because I never wanted to leave these characters It also gave me time to reflect on this book s brilliance This type of charac Thank you, Random House and Ballantine Books, for the gifted copy Isabel Allende has long been one of my favorite storytellers, ever since I read The House of the Spirits La Casa de los Espiritus in Spanish while in college I was lost in A Long Petal of the Sea So much so, I slowly savored reading it over a month s time, which I rarely do I needed to read it slowly because I never wanted to leave these characters It also gave me time to reflect on this book s brilliance This type of characterization and storytelling is exactly why I read Bonus points for learningabout Spain during this time period.I know it s probably clear A Long Petal of the Sea is at the top of my favorites list If you love a story you can fall into, please don t miss it No one weaves a story like Isabel Allende.Many of my reviews can also be found on instagram www.instagram.com tarheelreader One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and affecting works in Isabelle Allende s long career The New York Times book review.AGREE I ve read 15 books by this powerhouse pint size extraordinary author both fiction, and nonfiction I ve met Isabel Allende three timesI admire Isabel Allende s exceptional storytelling skills while educating me about history people, places, and dates This global humanitarian feisty One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and affecting works in Isabelle Allende s long career The New York Times book review.AGREE I ve read 15 books by this powerhouse pint size extraordinary author both fiction, and nonfiction I ve met Isabel Allende three timesI admire Isabel Allende s exceptional storytelling skills while educating me about history people, places, and dates This global humanitarian feisty strong as bull woman took my breath away in A Long Petal of the Sea.I m one of her fans who has enjoyed all of her books different topics and styles..from her early daysto a pause grief from her daughter s Paula s death , to two very special non fiction books Paula and The Sum of Our Days to books she has written inrecent yearsto our present day Jan 2020 I like reading what Isabel Allende writes period That said this is my favorite fiction book of the many other wonderful novels she s written I took twice as long to read it than was necessaryI have pages of notes I did it for my own educational study I had no agreement to write a review I paid for the book myself took notes for myself Looked up information to fill in holes on Google I m happy to share with others have discussions but I didn t feel an ounce of obligation in reading learning and enjoying it There are a fewdetails I d like to say in this review have some fun sharingtidbits..I m too tired to do it nowbut I ll return Nobody has to read my updated review later I want to writefor my own memory pleasure completion , but thank you ahead of time, for those who do readof my chatter I m grateful having learned as much as I did I studied it poured my entire soul into this novel looking up names information wanting to explore specific detailsit took a lot of extra time to read this book the way I didAnd.I had a darn great time doing it I ll be back in a day or two for part II of this review.I m BACK From war torn Spain to Chileincredible history teachings, dramatic storytelling, epic in scope, spans decades , love and survival General Francisco Franco ruled over Spain from 1939 to 1975 During his rule Franco assumed the title Caudillo powerful political leader.His dictatorship changed over time people feared his brutal repression Much of the civilian population were escaping to the French borders by any means possible, escaping Franco s dictatorship Victor Dalmau, a young paramedic for three years during the Spanish Civil War in Spain from 1936 1939 along with other doctors transported the wounded from the hospital and trains, ambulances, and trucks They had to make so many quick harrowing decisions to leave the most seriously wounded behind, since they were bound to die of the journey Crammed into cattle trucks or battered vehicles, lying on the floor, freezing cold, constantly jolted, with no food, combatants who had just been operated on, or the wounded, blind, had amputated limbs, or were delirious from fever, typhus, dysentery, or gangrene, made their way out of Barcelona.The medical staff had nothing with which to relieve their suffering, and could offer only water, words of comfort, and sometimes, if a dying man asked for it, a final prayer Victor had seen dreadful wounds, assisted at amputations without anesthetics, helpedthan one unfortunate youngster die, and thought he had developed the hide of a crocodile and yet the tragic journey in the wagons he was in charge of destroyed his spirit France was watching in horror as the border became jammed with a crush of people that the authorities managed to keep barely in check by employing armed soldiers and the fearsome colonial troops from Senegal and Algeria, with their turbines, rifles, s and whips The whole country was overwhelmed by this massiveinflux of undesirables, as they were officially called Undesirables is what the French government called the refugees coming into their borders Women, children, soldiers, totally exhausted from anger and fatigued marched across the border into France in a country that didn t want them singing with their fists raised After arriving in France, tens of thousands of Spanish refugees were taken to the camp of Argeles sur Mer fenced off on the beach Senegalese and armed police guarded the fenced off camp Roser Bruguera, was very pregnant, bearing Guillem Dalmau s child.She was strong She knew could deal with whatever was thrown at her for the sake of her child and meeting Guillem again,but.she didn t know that Guillem had died It was maddening to know that the French government left the refugees out in the open day and night exposed to the cold and rain Hygiene was nonexistent They had no latrines or drinkable water Women gathered and tight groups to defend themselves against sexual aggression of the guards Between 30 and 40 people died every day, first of children from dysentery, then the elderly from pneumonia.One woman woke up one morning to find her dead five month old daughter after the temperature had fallen below freezing Later that night, the grieving mother went out to the waters edge and waited out into the sea until she disappeared She was not the only one Many years later the exact statistics became known Almost 15,000 people died in those French camps, from hunger, starvation, mistreatment, and illnesses, Nine out of every ten children perished.Elizabeth Eidenbenz a real historical figure in Isabell Allende s book.was a teacher and a nurse.She saved approximately 600 children who were mostly the children of Spanish Republicans, jewish refugees and gypsies fleeing the Nazi invasion Camp commanders in France were trying to get rid of the refugees They were trying to force them back to Spain Elizabeth Eidenbenz was determined to set up a proper maternity home in an abandoned mansion in Elne in the Country of Roussillon, France Anyone who was able to find a sponsor or a job we re allowed to go free So Elizabeth took Roser who was still very pregnant , with her.They arrived at Perpignan first where a house was being used as a maternity unit There were eight young women, pregnant, and others with newborn babies in their arms.A little relief.a place to give birth, a baby boy named Marcel , a little replenishing..but not much time to rest.Eventually, Victor and Roser escape together, with the help from Pablo Neruda Victor says he will marry Roser.take care of her and be the father to baby Marcel a complete marriage agreement arrangement.Victor doesn t expect Roser to do the duty a sexless marriage in other words But loveless No.I wouldn t say loveless.Pablo Neruda, famous poet , arranged and organized the transport of refugees of the war to Chile Two thousand people traveled on The Winnipeg to Chile LEARNING ABOUT PABLO NERUDA.was a highlight for me Pablo Neruda thirty four was considered the best poet of his generation.Neruda had been passionate for Spain but he loathed Fascism and was so concerned about the fate of the defeated Republicans that he had managed to convince the new Chilean president to allow a certain number to come into Chile in defiance of the right wing parties and Catholic Church The second part of this novel portrays the political, and social divisions among the Chileans We meet the upper class Solar Family Isidro, del Solar, his wife, Laura, and their 19 year old daughter, Ofelia Beautiful and flirtatious , were all together There were six del Solar children in all The year was 1939 The Reina Del Pacifico was the fastest motor liner of its time, which offered movies, theater, music, circuses, and ventriloquists , left the Chilean port of Valparaiso at the start of May, to dock in Liverpool twenty seven days later There were 162 passengers in second class, and 446 in third of several different languages being spoken Isidro, Laura, and Ofelia were on the boat too.There was an orchestra and a female String Quartet on the ship and a Captain s dinner foie gras, caviar, Champagne, and desserts , gathering one evening I had my first laugh, when Laura groaned as she struggled into her girdle I ve never worn a girdle in my life I value breathing LolBut I know what it feels like to feel yucky from putting on weight Laura tried to get out of that dinner, as she obviously didn t feel great about herself but her husband, Isidro, wanted her to make an effort, for him for his business connections.I laughed as the couple argued about basic personal things Laura worried about not being able to fit in her dress.Isidro told her she always looked pretty just wear something else A horrific war was going on.and Laura worried about beauty I found it amazing that such little things, clothes, jewelry, body image , still what mattered to a persons self esteem.Laura was aware of her privileged good fortune at being born into the Vizcarra family, of marrying Isidro del Solar She knew she had been protected and waited on She also gave birth to six children without ever having changed a diaper or prepares a bottle Juana Nancucheo was in charge of all of the childcare she s supervised the wet nurses and servants Juana was a wonderful memorable character to me Juana Nancucheo mixed criollo and Mapuchehad been in charge of the del Solar household She supervised three maids, cook, laundress, Gardner, etc Felipe taught Juana to read, write and do sumswhich created a close bond Juana covered up any mischief he got into Later he helped her invest her savings in shares of stock exchange Felipe had such a gentle character that people took advantage of him His dad, Isidro, didn t appreciate his son s charitable impulses The worse earthquake which left twenty thousand dead and whole towns flattened , to hit Chile 1960 coincided with the exodus of people from Catalonia toward the border of France.The Spanish Civil War left hundreds and thousands dead, wounded, or refugees by comparison was a far greater tragedy TONS TONS TONSI could say for this masterpiece achievement.But I ll end with words from Pablo Neruda Let s keep anger, pain, and tears,Let s fill the desolate voidAnd may the nightly bonfire recallThe light at the deceased stars Pablo Neruda Jose Miguel Carrera,1810 Years later, Neruda was to define it as a long petal of sea and wine and snow with a belt of black and white foamVictor Dalmau is an army doctor during the Spanish Civil war In it s aftermath he, his very pregnant and widowed sister in law, Roser, and hundreds of others are forced to flee over the mountains to France But the unrest in Europe has only begun, another World War is breaking out and Victor and Roser need to leave And the only way is on Pablo Naruda s ship, the SS WinnipegYears later, Neruda was to define it as a long petal of sea and wine and snow with a belt of black and white foamVictor Dalmau is an army doctor during the Spanish Civil war In it s aftermath he, his very pregnant and widowed sister in law, Roser, and hundreds of others are forced to flee over the mountains to France But the unrest in Europe has only begun, another World War is breaking out and Victor and Roser need to leave And the only way is on Pablo Naruda s ship, the SS Winnipeg In order for both to gain passage, they need to marry Exiles, Victor and Roser emigrate to Chile where they hope to find a better life for themselves and to wait for the day they are able to return home Together they slowly build a new life But as is a normal part of life, they face challenge after challenge.This book follows the Dalmau and the Del Solar families through the years, through lies, loves and betrayals So much hatred, so much crueltyI don t understand, said Victor His mouth was dry and the words stuck in his throat We can all turn into savages if we re given a rifle and an order, said another prisoner who had come over to them Keep in mind that this was my first adult book my Allende that I ve read I read her YA books as a teen I didn t know anything about the Spanish Civil war and I struggled to keep up with everything in the beginning The first 50 pages were a bit hard for me to get through but once the plot started moving forward, I got used to her writing style and I became hooked None of the characters were perfect, they all had their own flaws, made bad choices But ultimately that s what made them so incredibly realistic A lot of this book was based on real events Even some of the characters that our MC interacts with were real people Like Pablo Naruda and Salvador Allende You could really tell how much research the author did and that she drew from her own experiences as an exile So many things about this story was a new experience for me From reading about the civil war and the Chile setting What I really loved was how we follow the characters through out their life until old age I thought that was really brilliant I don t have much experience reading about characters in their old age It seems most authors seem to avoid this period of life and I thought Allende did a beautiful job The only reason I didn t give this 5 stars is because of how long it took me to get into the story at the beginning but I found the second half especially the last quarter of the book to be so gripping and beautiful and by that time I didn t want the story to end I finished this with a smile on my face and tears in my eyesThank you to the publishers for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewThoughts on the audiobook I alternated between reading the book and listening to the audio version The narrator was really good His pacing was great and he did every accent exceptionally as well as the words in Spanish or French


About the Author: Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende Llona is a Chilean American novelist Allende, who writes in the magic realism tradition, is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at several US colleges She currently resides in California with her husband Allende adopted U.S citizenship in 2003.


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