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Publisher's Summary

Monica Ali's stunning second book is a collection of stories, set in the Alentejo province of Portugal, linked by characters and a vivid sense of place and time.

Teresa, a beautiful young girl from the village, is supposed to marry a suitable man from the same community, but she wants to see the world.

Vasco is a café owner who is losing business to the new Internet café down the road.

The unseemly, dysfunctional, but strangely riveting Pottses are a family of ex-patriots, trying to cobble a life together, living at odds with one another until they run into trouble from the outside.

We also meet several English tourists, including a young couple engaged to be married and confronting each other's weaknesses and idiosyncrasies for the first time, and an older woman imagining a new life while fantasizing about never returning home.

©2006 Monica Ali; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The simultaneous sense of stasis and great change is Ali's forte, and her characters' perceptions are sharp." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • hh
  • pdx United States
  • 08-25-07

shorter would have been better

Simply too long for what is there. The writing is fine (with exquisite flourishes) , but without the needed editing, the net result is less than it could be. The narrator does an admirable job with the many voices, pacing, and necessary inflections, adding a great deal, but even she can't compensate for the lack of good editing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roberta
  • danville, CA, USA
  • 04-07-07

Big Disappointment

This book is a big disappointment. I absolutely LOVED Brick Lane and hated to see the book end. I bought Alentejo Blue hoping for the same experience. I struggled through half of it and finally gave up. It is just not interesting! Too bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful