Alentejo Blue

Alentejo Blue

2.69 (823 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Alentejo Blue" is the story of the Portuguese village of Mamarrosa told through the lives of those who live there and those who are passing through - men and women, children and old people, locals, tourists and expatriates. For some, such as Teresa, a beautiful, dreamy village girl, it is a place from which to escape; for others - the dysfunctional Potts family - it is a way of running from trouble (but not eluding it). Vasco, a cafe owner who has never recovered from the death of his American wife, clings to a notion that his years in America make him superior to the other villagers. One English tourist makes Mamarrosa the subject of her fantasy of a new life, while for her compatriots, a young engaged couple, Mamarrosa is where their dreams finally fall apart. At the book's opening an old man reflects on his long and troubled life in this beautiful and seemingly tranquil setting, and anticipates the return of Marco Afonso Rodrigues, the prodigal son of the village and a symbol of this now fast-changing world. The homecoming is the subject of continuing speculation, and when Marco Afonso Rodrigues does finally appear, villagers, tourists and expatriates are brought together and jealousies, passions and disappointments must inevitably collide.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 131 x 200 x 22mm | 286g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552771163
  • 9780552771160
  • 424,614

Review quote

"(Ali is) 'a writer with a keen eye for physical and emotional detail, and a style, mixing the tart with the lyrical which pulls you fast into her chosen world'" The Times "(Ali's) 'assured writing and gentle humour are a constant delight'" Daily Mail "Compelling, atmospheric and elegantly written" Tatler "Ali gives us a glimpse into a world that's truly exotic ... brilliantly evocative" Daily Express "Well written and often entertaining ... a perfectly pleasant read" Daily Telegraphshow more

About Monica Ali

Monica Ali is one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists of the decade, Newcomer of the Year at the 2004 British Book Awards and has been nominated for most of the major literary prizes in Britain. Her first novel, Brick Lane, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the George Orwell Prize for political writing and the prestigious Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Internationally there has been similar recognition, including, in the United States, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times 'First Fiction' Prize, for which the book was shortlisted. Monica Ali lives in London with her husband and two children, and is working on her next novel.show more

Review Text

"Well written and often entertaining .... a perfectly pleasant read"show more

Back cover copy

For some, Mamarrosa is a place you merely pass through. For others it is somewhere from which you want to escape. Some people come here to disappear. A small town in rural Portugal, it is on the way to other places, but you rarely stop there.And those who do usually have a reason. Men and women, children and old people all tell their stories, piece by piece, locals, expatriates, tourists alike, and in so doing assemble the story of the town itself, a tale of exile and belonging, rich with resonance and regret. 'Her craftsmanship is superb and her descriptions rich with quirky, sad, funny and lovely details...The beauty of her writing gives her a starring role in this literary generation' USA Today 'In her new book...the prodigiously gifted Monica Ali demonstrates her versatility and hints at the breadth and variety of her interests' New York Times Book Reviewshow more

Rating details

823 ratings
2.69 out of 5 stars
5 4% (30)
4 16% (132)
3 39% (317)
2 29% (241)
1 13% (103)
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