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Friends and Heroes: The Balkan Trilogy, Book 3
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Friends and Heroes: The Balkan Trilogy, Book 3 (Balkan Trilogy #3)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  128 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

Bucharest has fallen, and Harriet and Guy Pringle have escaped to Athens in the nick of time to find several of their old acquaintances there already. But even Guy's eternal optimism fails him when he realises that his former employees feel no gratitude or loyalty to him. Guy and Harriet both come to realise that with Greece threatened by the Axis Powers, Athens is not the

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Published January 1st 2010 by AudioGO (first published 1965)
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Review of The Balkan Trilogy:

What first attracted me to this trilogy was the history woven into the story. WW2 in Bucharest and Athens. The trilogy starts in the fall of 1939 and ends in the spring of 1941. You watch the fall of first Romania and then Greece. No, you don't watch, you live it along with a group characters that you come to know intimately. A close group of both friends and foes. The central protagonists are Harriet and Guy Pringle, but they are by no means the only characters. Th
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy and follows on from “The Great Fortune,” and “The Spoilt City.” The first two volumes of the trilogy saw Guy and Harriet Pringle in Bucharest – newly married and coping in a Europe newly at war. This book sees Harriet travel to Athens alone and awaiting Guy’s arrival. Many of the characters who populated the first two novels also appear here, including Dubedat, Lush and Prince Yakimov. Indeed, so isolated is Harriet when she arrives that Yakim ...more
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final instalment of the Balkan Trilogy was my favourite. Married Guy and Harriet have escaped from Romania and arrived in Athens. Against the backdrop of Greece's early military success against Italy and final defeat once Germany invaded, the couple continue to struggle with their marriage, friends and career. Manning's affection for Greece shines through and gives the book a warmer glow then the abhorred Romanians. There is an undramatic verisimilitude to the preoccupations of the character ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this trilogy four stars overall because of the unique perspective it offers on the approaching catastrophe of WWII as it was experienced by middle-class people in Europe at the time. Although I admit I had not heard of Manning until recently, it seems that her novels are largely fictionalized memoirs and contain her first-hand observations of the people and events she writes about. At any rate, like Harriet, the main character in the "Balkan Trilogy" novels, she was married to an English ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following on from the events in the previous novel, Harriet Pringle is newly arrived in Athens, her husband Guy has stayed behind in Bucharest. Rumania – where the Pringles have been living since their marriage at the start of the war is under German occupation, and most of the ex-pat community have left or are in the process of leaving. Harriet is in a fever of anticipation waiting for Guy to arrive in Athens. Yakimov, and his sable lined greatcoat is already in Athens, and despite previously h ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The final instalment sees Harriet and Guy in Athens where they meet up again with the inveterate sponger Yakimov. The cloak-and-dagger stuff is still going on amid expat intrigue and love affairs. The series as a whole is great, like some sort of papery soap opera happening in your hands as the whole continent slides closer to the brink.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful last novel of the first trilogy. The writing was consistent throughout. I felt like I was living with the characters in their world. I can't wait to read The Levant Trilogy which follows the same characters in Cairo near the end of WW11.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, classic
More of the same from Manning here, we're still following the Pringles but this time they are in Greece. Yakimov is still around and a few other familiar faces from the previous books make appearances but there are plenty of new characters and the marriage hits a rocky period with the arrival of Charles.
It's beautifully written as always with a distinct air of melancholy throughout and you feel your there with the all too human characters.
I suppose I'll have to read the second trilogy now...
Tonia Peckover
Such a slow, quietly building trilogy. This last of the series was my favorite, I think, because the characters finally start to learn themselves and learn how to love each other. There's another trilogy that follows this I just might have to read.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant portrayal of a complex marriage complicated by the most traumatic of circumstances
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final book of The Balkan Trilogy. Harriet Pringle, under duress, flees Bucharest for Athens and anxiously awaits Guy's arrival. After he arrives, they attempt to make a life in Athens, although they are under pressure to continue on to Cairo. The book chronicles the Bucharest-like deterioration of Athens. The cruel difference between the two cities is that the Greeks have a brief, illusory period of jubilation as their army embarrasses the invading Italians. The ending, of course, is a fore ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, Guy gets to Athens. They spend a lot of time with old friends (Yakimov), and new friends (Alan Frewen [who finally hires Harriet part time] and Ben Phipps who becomes Guy's croney). Guy tries to get a job with the Organization, but finds that Toby Lush and Dubedat who Guy had helped out in Budapest had control in Athens and didn't want to share their largess. Then they find Pinkrose, who also carries a grudge. The rich Major Cookson carries a lot of power and isn't too impressed with th ...more
Fiona Squires
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is the third installment in the Fortunes of War series and sees Guy and Harriet Pringle newly arrived in Athens having fled Bucharest following it's fall into German hands.
The main focus of the narrative is Harriet's increasing estrangement from her husband due to what she sees as his greater commitment to the needs of others. This in turn drives her into the arms of a British serviceman stationed in Athens and awaiting further orders.
The relationship between Harriet and Charles Warden is "
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book of The Balkan Trilogy. JohnMorn
Not history really, but historical fiction. This is the third book in the Balkan Trilogy. Great characters and it really gives you a sense of the impact of WW II on human lives.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She is a master of social psychology, weaves a tight story, and wraps up her work with brilliant style.
Andy Harding
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Lisa Curran
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Aug 30, 2014
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Nov 27, 2016
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Maria Matei
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Tim Hill
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Sep 06, 2011
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Jon Poletti
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Olivia Manning CBE was a British novelist, poet, writer and reviewer. Her fiction and non-fiction, frequently detailing journeys and personal odysseys, were principally set in England, Ireland, Europe and the Middle East. She often wrote from her personal experience, though her books also demonstrate strengths in imaginative writing. Her books are widely admired for her artistic eye and vivid desc ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Balkan Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Great Fortune (Balkan Trilogy #1)
  • The Spoilt City