July 2022 Book Group
Join librarian Meredith to discuss Isabel Allende's historical fiction novel A Long Petal of the Sea.
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.
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, they 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, they embrace exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning, and over the course of their lives, they will face trial after trial. But they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they will be exiles no more. 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.
Copies of the book will be available at the library for checkout, or patrons may order a copy through the library's online catalog.
Book Group, the Scandinavia Public Library's book discussion group, meets at 4 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month except December. Our discussions are open to anyone who has read the month's selected title and will participate in a civil manner. Readers are welcome to attend as many meetings as their interest and schedules permit. We read a wide variety of books, covering all genres, as well as occasional non-fiction titles. Titles are selected by our staff, but we also welcome suggestions from our readers!