• Post category:Reviews

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Although Isabel Allende has lived in California since 1988 and is now an American citizen she undoubtedly knows about the trauma of exile. In 1973 her cousin Salvador Allende, president of Chile, was overthrown and died in a violent coup. She was blacklisted by the Pinochet Government and fled with her then husband and two children to Venezuela where they lived for 13 years.

If you haven’t read any of Isabel Allende’s novels yet you are in for a treat. This one, her latest, covers the period from the end of the Spanish Civil War with the exodus of millions of Catalonians over the Pyrenees to France where they were held in concentration camps. Two thousand only were selected to travel on an old cargo ship to Chile (true).

Once there, Doctor Victor Dalmau, the main character, finds himself in great demand and settles together with his family, makes friends, etc. but after many years turbulent times again become the norm and eventually Pinochet leads a military coup. Dalmau once more becomes a political refugee, this time fleeing to Venezuela.

I find Allende gives atmosphere to these countries and one also learns some history and what it really felt like to be caught up in these struggles.

From recommendation by a Library Member