Isabel Allende has received impressive worldwide acclaim for her novels; she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004, she received Chile’s National Literature Prize in 2010 and she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. A Long Petal of the Sea is her most recent novel and it tells the story of Victor and Roser, two refugees of the Spanish Civil War who flee their homeland and begin a new life in Chile in 1939. Victor and Roser form a family out of necessity, but their life in the country that Nobel Prize-winner Pablo Neruda calls the “long petal of sea and wine and snow” takes them in remarkable and unexpected directions. As addressed in her author’s note, this novel is personal for the Chilean-American Allende. It’s well-written and sheds light on a piece of history about which many Americans may know very little.
Raela Schoenherr is an editor at a Minnesota publishing company. She loves to talk books and writing on Twitter at @raelaschoenherr.