Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali

Alentejo Blue

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

Books with similar mood

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

The Taxi Driver's Daughter

Julia Darling

A Crying Shame

Renate Dorrestein

The Immigrant

Manju Kapur

Death in Pont-Aven

Jean-Luc Bannalec

The Following Girls

Louise Lavene

Some Kind of Hero

Donna Hay

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

Bread Alone

Judi Hendricks

In Real Life

Chris Killen

Deaf Sentence

David Lodge

His 'n' Hers

Mike Gayle

Time and Fate

Lance Price

Treading Water

Claire Collison

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Ayelet Waldman

Diva Book of Short Stories

Helen Sandler

The Snack Thief

Andrea Camilleri

Triangulation

Phil Whitaker

The Freedom Thing

Phil Hogan

The Beekeeper's Pupil

Sara George

Strange Boy

Paul Magrs

Startling Moon

Liu Hong

The Hero's Walk

Anita Badami

Fin

James Delingpole

The Orange Blossom Special

Betsy Carter

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

Lovesong

Alex Miller

The Believers

Zoe Heller

Give Us This Day

Jonathan Tulloch

Wide Blue Yonder

Jean Thompson

That They May Face The Rising Sun

John McGahern

The Pocket Guide to Being an Indian Girl

B K Mahal

The Golden Door

Kerry Jamieson

The Seven Sisters

Margaret Drabble

Frankie and Stankie

Barbara Trapido

Half a World Away

Tom Bromley

A Ship Made of Paper

Scott Spencer

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

Losing It

Jane Asher

No Great Mischief

Alistair MacLeod

The Drink and Dream Tea House

Justin Hall

The Anatomy School

Bernard MacLaverty

All Grown Up

Jami Attenberg

Onward Toward What We're Going Toward

Ryan Bartelmay

Unexpected Lessons in Love

Bernadine Bishop

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

Rendezvous

Esther Verhoef

Land of the Golden Apple

Eve Makis