This book followed 2 main characters from the Spanish civil war to the end of the military rule in Chile. 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 for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: “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 multi-generational epic that follows the characters from Spain to France, Chile, Argentina, and eventually the United States. In addition to being well-researched historical fiction, it also parallels current issues.
and it was especially interesting to have the inside views of our own Estela, who not only comes from Chile, but was just there for a visit and actually read the book in Chile. It was a very interesting read.