Laura's Reviews > The Island

The Island by Victoria Hislop
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's review
Apr 28, 2012

liked it
Read in April, 2012

I enjoyed the book - partly because the island that the story centers on was the view from our terrace during our honeymoon but also because of the unique topic of the story. It was a quick and enjoyable read though I think was weak in a few ways. As with many novels that combine the past and the present with the past being the focus, the scenes in the present were not as well written and lacked depth and development. I thought Alexis' struggle over her relationship with Ed was totally irrelevant and a superficial plot device. Similarly, Sofia was very under-developed and I thought the explanation for her decision to hide her past was thin - as a teenager she wanted to go out into the wider world, hoping to experience new, more modern cultures yet her reasons for hiding her past were all derived from the traditional nature of her Cretan culture? At the end I had developed no warmth or engagement with Alexis or Sofia or felt any real emotion at the change to their relationship.

The story of Eleni and Giorgis and their daughters was far more engaging and was clearly given all of the author's attention and skill. My only criticism about this section of the book (which is the bulk of it really) is that there didn't seem to be any character development or progress through the course of the story. Eleni, Giorgis, Anna, and Maria all pretty much remain the same characters from start to finish.

Nonetheless, a nice, easy read that illuminates, if fictionally, a fascinating bit of Greek history.
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12/03/2016 marked as: read

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