The Petrakis family lives in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where the nation's leper colony once was located—a place that has haunted four generations of Petrakis women. There's Eleni, ripped from her husband and two young daughters and sent to Spinalonga in 1939, and her daughters Maria, finding joy in the ev...more
But life can be disappointing at times. This was one of the worst written books I have read in a long time. Chunks of unnecessarty exposition, character motivations eplained to the nth degree, dialogue avoided like...well, like it was leprosy.
If you like your characters spoon fed to you, and every meaningful scene ducked (I mean, why didn't we get to see the last evening she and her husband had together? What exactly did they say?), well, this is...more
Nažalost, u Srbiji knjiga nije odmah "zaživela" zbog neadekvatnih korica (koje nisu bile moj izbor, promenjene su za drugo izdanje), dok je u Hrvatskoj odmah postala hit... Ono što je meni kao uredniku uvek najdraže jeste to da je priča o njoj kružila od usta...more
Thankfully, both medicinal science and the attitude of society to serious illness have made massive advances since those days.
Once you have started reading this book, you will become captivated, and wil...more
Alexis Fieldings compreendeu essa existência, já que o manto que protegia Sofia, a sua mãe, havia-lhe sido vedado e apresentado como to...more
I have heard a lot about how good this is and have also very much enjoyed Victoria’s ‘The Return’, so I started out with high expectations and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
The story begins with Alexis, a girl wanting to discover her history. She is in a place in her life of uncertainty, not knowing which direction to move in and is wondering about her roots. She heads for Crete to unravel the mysteries of her families past. As she arrives in Greece the s...more
The primary subject matter of the book was well researched and very interesting and original - that of the fate of Leprosy sufferers in pre-war and wartime Greece. I found this aspect of the book very interesting, the experimental treatments, the descriptions of how they organised their lives on the island and set up a democracy, the emotions surrounding being forcibly taken away from your families and made to live in isolation. I didn't know a lot about le...more
The scenary of this book is the village of Plaka (Greece) and its surroundings, including the island of Spinalonga, in times before and after the Second World War, coming to our time.
Alexis is a young woman of today, wh...more
The intro was a trifle long-winded and a poor reason for getting the storyline started. Once we had the flashback to the previous 1 or 2 generations, the story began to get better and more interesting. The middle was almost riveting in parts and I began to get absorbed into the story better.
However, once things began to change (for the better) for the lepers in...more
As she questions her mother’s friend, Alexis uncovers the family secrets and her mother's, her grandmother's, and her great-grandmother's past and their connection with...more
The idea of a book about Spinalonga, the little island off Crete that served for years as a leper colony, is a promising one and (despite not being a particular fan of historical fiction) I was looking forward to learning about the history of the islands through the novel. B...more
Alexis Fielding has been raised in England and her mother, Sofia, has always been secretive about her past. Alexis travels to Greece where a family friend reveals the history of her great-grandparents and their family. I found the stories of Eleni and Mar...more
"But I can't pay the rent!" swooned the beautiful, hapless heroine. She was his tenant. Her breathtaking beauty was matched only by her saintliness. She was always being taken advantage of by the wicked people around her, yet she was committed to remaining good.
"You must pay the rent!"
"But I can't pay the rent!"
"I'll pay the rent!" shouted the mysterious stranger....more
Alexis sets out to find more about her mother, Sofia's, past, which she has always kept secret from her. After she decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her a letter to take to an old friend there, and promises that through her she will learn more of her family's history.
What evolves is a tragic and ins...more
However, here are my beefs:
1. The author's writing drove me a little batty. I'm pretty sure she never used a thesaurus during the entire writing proce...more
If I am to be super critical in this area, then I would say yes, it was a tad light on the explanation and description of leprosy, BUT as a work of fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this original story, set in Plaka, Crete and the Island of Sp...more
Her first novel, The Island, held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and wo...more
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It seemed that nobody had the heart to tell the Greeks that Nescafé was no longer a novelty – it was this old-fashioned thick and treacly fluid that everyone, including her, craved.”