Book 1: Isabel Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea (2019)

Allende, I. (2019). A long petal of the sea. Random House US. – A historical fiction with a twist of drama and romance, about a paramedic Victor Dalmau who escaped the political unrest in Spain in the 1930s together with his wife (sister-in-law) Roser and son (nephew) Marcel. They built a new life in Chile (the long petal of the sea). Favorite lines from the book (direct citations):

  • You see, Victor, how life and death always go hand-in-hand. – Roser
  • War is a hurricane that destroys a lot in its path. – Jordi Moline
  • How strange you are Marcel! Why on earth are you so interested in stones? – Carme; Because they don’t have opinions or talk back. – Marcel
  • The burning nostalgia left by that love gradually merged into that gray area of memory where what we have lived fades away.
  • Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional. – Roser
  • Entropy is the natural law of the universe, everything tends towards disorder, to break down, to disperse. People get lost: …, feelings fade, and forgetfulness slips into lives like mist. It takes heroic willpower just to keep everything in place.
  • They had to live in the present, making the most of everything that agrreable country had to offer, grateful they were well received and had work, without wallowing in the past.
  • The problem with us, he reflected, is that she takes me for granted, whereas I keep thinking she might run off with somebody else. – Victor
  • I’m going to die: so what? Everybody has to die. – Roser
  • He didn’t want to accept being old. Advanced age is a distortion of a familiar reality, it changes the body as well as the circumstances. You gradually lose control and have to depend on the kindness of others — but Victor had thought he would die before this happened. The problem was how hard it sometimes can be to die swiftly and with dignity.
  • He had adopted the theory that to stay healthy, the best thing was to ognore any bodily or mental alarm signals and always keep busy. You have to have a purpose in life.

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