A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende was published this year and it was picked for the Goodreads Choice Awards. Seeing that it’s connected with the Spanish Civil War, I was curious about it. Luckily (or not) I could find it at the library. The book is such a hit and miss. The historical parts are nicely presented, even though I’m not sure how accurate they are. The concentration camps in France were real, but I don’t know about the Chilean history, so I can’t comment on that.
But, the problem was with the romance, it was so dry and boring. At one point a love triangle developed into a love “square” or even a love “pentagon”… too much to be interesting. Overall I gave the book 2.5 stars.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

I was surprised by this, as Allende is a New York Times bestselling author. This novel was supposed to be about two young people, but it drag on too much, decades, without adding much to the story. Roser is lovely for much of the book, but by the end I wasn’t so keen. He, Victor Dalmau, an army doctor, marries her as she was pregnant with his brother’s son. His brother died in the Spanish civil war.

They flee the country and end up in a long petal of the sea – Chile – on board of the ship Winnipeg. The story is from Franco to Pinochet. I think the story can be interesting for a historian or someone who would want to get a feel or an interpretation of the life in exile, in French concentration camps, the terror of war. It’s not great as romance and the characters are dry and not relatable, at least for me.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: not necessarily
Published by: Ballantine Books
Year it was published: 2020
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Historical fiction
Pages: 318

About the author: 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.
Website & Social Media Links: –



8 thoughts on “A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende”

  • I haven’t read this novel, though it is on my to-read list. I read a couple of Allende’s books twenty years ago, Daughter of fortune and Portrait in sepia, and found them both compelling. I wonder if I like the latest book.

    • I read some reviews in which the reader said that they enjoyed other books by her but not this one. It’s a matter of taste when it comes to fiction though.

  • I know my daughter tried reading (listening to) this, but I can’t remember what all she had to say about it. I’ll have to ask her. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of other things to read. 😉
    Kelly recently posted…Books for November 2020My Profile

  • Hi Anca,

    I don’t know whether this story had a definitive ending or not, however one of the book sites I use, is saying that there is another book due for release in 2021 sometime called ‘Long Petal To The Sea’, although there are no details about it yet!

    I did read an Isabel Allende book a couple of years back, as it seemed as though her name was all over everyone’s blogs at the time. I have to say, it was that good that I can’t even remember what it is was called! Not even looking at the titles of all her books together on one page rang any bells with me!

    I guess that’s what makes reviewing so subjective and why I do try not to actually recommend books if I can help it. A story I might really enjoy, might be the next person’s worst nightmare and vice versa of course.

    It seems as though we are in agreement about Isabel’s style of writing though – so onwards and upwards to the next book on your TBR pile and I hope it is better for you 🙂

    Yvonne xx

    • I wouldn’t read a sequel, that’s for sure. :)) It’s always a bit tricky to recommend books, especially with fiction. With non-fiction is much easier from that point of view. Yes, we are in agreement on her writing style. 🙂 xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.