The title, A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA, refers to the country of Chile. It’s inspired by the writings of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (see Quotes) who, in addition to other historic figures like former Chilean President Salvador Allende and Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco, take part in the storyline. Spanning the years 1936-1994, this sweeping family drama takes place against periods of political turmoil and struggle in Spain and Chile. I learned a lot about Spanish and Chilean history and culture while reading this. The plot also deals with serious issues, including immigration and income inequality, that our world is still grappling with today. All in all, PETAL is a very commendable work by author Isabel Allende & well worth a read.