A Long Petal of the Sea; Isabel Allende
Ballantine Books - 2020
This title was our book group pick for June and, although initially, I didn't think I wanted to read about the Spanish Civil this summer, in the end I was mostly, but not entirely, happy that I did. My book group definitely helps me to branch out and try books I might have passed on.
The story begins in 1938 and ends in 1994, taking readers from Spain to France, Chile and Venezuela and ending in Chile. From the Spanish Civil war and political upheaval which includes a 1973 coup in Chile where the democratic government elected to power is overthrown. It's also a bit of a love story in the midst of war and political crises.
The writing is good but, the translation felt a bit off at times. I thought the author took great pains in getting all the real life historical details just right, as this is in part based on a true story. However, I felt that the characters themselves lacked depth and emotion and more focus should have been given to the characters themselves. The portrayal of refugee camps was hard to read about and, I thought the author did a good job demonstrating the impact of war on its people.
Our group had mixed reactions to this book, a few really liked it, a few disliked and others had similar issues to mine. Have you read this one? What did you think?
Rating - 3.5/5 stars