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Alentejo Blue

by Monica Ali

Reading this book was like being given a plate of Mediterranean nibbles, full of colour and sunshine, but with some bitter olives scattered around. It tells the stories of the inhabitants of and visitors to one village in Portugal. It's amazing how lives interconnect seemingly randomly. I loved the way the author painted the hopes, dreams and desires of the characters with such warmth and realism.

Extract

The Potts girl walked into the cafe preceded by her reputation so that everyone was obliged to stare. Even Stanton, who had not been in Mamarrosa a month, looked her over once more than was strictly necessary. Vasco, stuffed behind the grand Formica counter, served her with pineapple Sumol and unsmiling vigilance.

Parallels

Tales from Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry
Magnolia - the film
 

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