Written By: Isabel Allende

Narrated By: Edoardo Ballerini

Date: January 2020

Duration: 9 hours 47 minutes


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

“One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende’s] long career.”—The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Esquire • Good Housekeeping • Parade

In the late 1930s, civil war grips 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 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 desires.

Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.

Praise for A Long Petal of the Sea

“Both an intimate look at the relationship between one man and one woman and an epic story of love, war, family, and the search for home, this gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place, and also sheds light on the way we live now.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions

“This is a novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand-new to her work: What a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time. She knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time.”—Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author of Let the Great World Spin


  • Anonymous

    Great story - introduced an era of history I was not aware of. The story of exiles forced to find new lives is very relevant today! Gets off to a slow start with some difficulty getting absorbed in the narrative but then really draws you in!

  • Frankie A.

    Compelling historical fiction. Spanish civil war medic emigrates to Chile and establishes a very interesting life only to endure another takeover 33yrs later by Pinochet dictatorship. So many parallels today inn the plight of those immigrants escaping brutality and our own immigration issues. Chapters are preceded by a quote from one of Pablo Neruda’s Nobel prize-winning poetry. Nit only did I enjoy this, I learned so much. What a talented writer Isabelle Allende is!!!! PS My narrator was Bot Tom Hanks, RATHER Edoardo Ballerini, and he was SUPERB!

  • Sandra P.

    Great read.

  • Michelle B.

    Tom Hanks is brilliant as narrator and lives bed this book!

  • Anonymous

    Book was good. Narration only fair

  • Lynn H.

    This was not my favorite book but I clarify as this was a audiobook and maybe it was the clinical narration...the characters seems superficial and lacked depth...the title refers to a poem by Pablo Neruda and I did enjoy the mention of the poet and his poems...in my favorite scene in the book...Neruda recalled how he needs people and interaction...conversations and discussions to inspire his poet’s soul...I found a similarity between Neruda and Trotsky in that manner but I digress...

  • Llaypo

    Great story

  • Nancy K.

    This is the first book I have read by Allende. I definitely liked it. I am a fan of historical fiction. I was not well versed in Spanish Civil War history, or Chilean history, and this book sort of brought me up to speed on that. Unfortunately, I am more aware of the plight of migrants, refugees and displaced persons. This book follows a family and details their efforts to find a place to call home. It addresses their abuses, hardships, determination, relationships, commitments to meet that end.

  • Rose H.

    I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction. That being said, I found this rather flat and lifeless. I won't pick up an Allende book any time soon.

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by Isabel Allende

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