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Evanthia's Gift

(The Gift Saga #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  469 ratings  ·  147 reviews
This Greek American family saga follows a multigenerational story of love, loyalty, and culture. An emotional novel about family bonds and the difficult pull between home and heritage.

In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is ab
Kindle Edition, 570 pages
Published August 7th 2015 by Effie Kammenou
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  469 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Alexandra Engellmann
"This book is dedicated to my mother. I miss you and think of you each and every day. It was with your whispers in my ear that this story was written. You were, and still remain the thread that holds our family together."

This dedication is so beautiful, I couldn’t not share it.
Evanthia’s Gift is a generational love story that connects two couples, two countries, and two generations. Part of the book is set in war-time Greece, and it shares with us a great cultural heritage that I could predict a
Susan Hampson
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautifully written story that begins in 1956 with Anastacia Fotopoulos fleeing her home and husband after he has betrayed her in the most unforgivable way possible. Her husband is unaware that she is having his baby, something that she will keep from him as she finds it impossible to forgive him.
The story follows Anastacia and her daughter through their lives, loves and two continents. It is a time when old traditions collide with the modern world and rebellious teenagers. I love
Feb 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
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🎁 FREE on Amazon today (2/15/2019)! 🎁
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Evanthia’s Gift is a one-of-a-kind story. It all starts with Anastacia Fotopoulos, in 1956, when her world turns upside down. Deceived and heartbroken, Anastacia faces indescribable challenges such as single motherhood. After finally finding herself and healed from the past, Anastacia lets herself be happy. The drama progresses on with Anastacia’s daughter, Sophia, where she is left with no choice but to be strong for herself and her family.

I have to say that the title of this book is so allurin
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook version of this book.

There are two parts to this book. We first have Anastacia and Alexandro's story in part one and then we have Sophie and Dean's story in part two. Both parts in this generational set are very well written and the chemistry between both couples is evident throughout. I definitely got a book hangover because I didn't want to turn it off. Each story is similar in that it centers around Greek culture and very heavily emphasizes the importance of famil
Joshua Grant
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Effie Kammenou builds a heartfelt multigenerational love story in Evanthia’s Gift. Sophia has always had a special connection with Dean since childhood, but as secrets start to tear them apart she seeks out her mother for advice. In doing so, she discovers her mother’s life wasn’t as smooth as it seemed on the surface. I loved the depth of the family and vivid emotion Kammenou evoked. If you love touching romances like The Notebook, check this one out!
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book last night. It was a win from Goodreads and I am glad I won it. This was one of the best books I have ever read, it was a long book but I never lost interest. The love that Ana and Alex had for each other set such a good example for Sophia and Dino even though they lost each other, in the end they refound their love. I didn't like the way Irini showed up at the funeral it just sort of put a damper on the ending for me. I hope Effie offers book two on Goodreads and if no ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I've come to realize that family sagas are one of the most interesting types of books that I read this year. There is, of course, my favorite: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith; too there was Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. As the year draws to a close, I was able to read/listen to Evanthia's Gift, a story of Greek immigrants and their family as they move back and forth between Greece and America and, finally, raise their children as Greek-Americans in a time when identity is som
Judi Easley
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First thoughts: Wow! At 12% so much had happened it felt like I had already read a well-written novella. When I got to the Epilogue I was totally wrung out. This story of two Greek families, their loves and losses, trials and triumphs, is outstanding. So well-written by author, Effie Kammenou, that you live it all along with them...get out the tissue box! There's love, betrayal, birth, death, good, and evil throughout this whole saga as you follow along intimately with the two families. Highly r ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lovely romance story that stays with to make you happy. Heartache as well, that needs to be solved. A not to be missed book by anyone.
EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
Evanthia’s Gift was a beautifully written two generation Greek-American love story, once I started reading it, I hated to put it down. The book starts out with Ana & Alex’s love story, what a wonderful love that was, Alex had loved Ana from the first time he met her in college but never let his feelings known and lost his opportunity when she married another. They meet few years later through a mutual friend and this time he never let the opportunity get away this time. You could just feel how m ...more
Trang Tran (Bookidote)
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
A mesmerizing romance over two generations. In the first part of the story, we follow the beginning of Anastacia and Alex romance as they try to overcome their past to be in relationship and work it out together. Single motherhood, destroyed and got her heart broken by her first mariage, Ana will not allow herself to trust any man. Alex will have to teach her to love herself again and trust him. They will discover that each of them has their own dark past. The second part of the book, takes on t ...more
Effrosyni Moschoudi
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A heart-warming story and vivid characters that will stay with you

Evanthia's Gift is a heart-warming family saga that still stays with me even though I finished the book a couple of weeks ago. My mind often drifts to its vivid characters, their difficult life situations and heartache. Although it is a long book, it kept me interested and I couldn't put it down, always starting yet another chapter to see what happens next. In terms of storyline and characters, this books scores top marks. However
Melissa ownsbey
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this deserves more than 5 stars
what a beatfuil love story
I really liked it I enjoyed it
the recipes are a plus I cant wait to try them
this book made me sad made me happy made me sad
and make me cry
it had me in so many emoitons
a heart warming story
thank you for letting me review
Bobbi Wagner
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Evanthia's Gift (The Gift Saga Book 1) by Effie Kammenou is the first book in her The Gift Saga. This is a multi gene story that is engaging and will keep you reading until the end. This is my first book by this author and I can't wait to read more of hers. This book that this author has created has something for everyone. I enjoyed her easy flowing writing style that goes right along with her attention to details that made me feel as if I was right there with the characters. Her characters are ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Exceptional & Heartfelt Story! Great Audible Listen🎧

Evanthia's Gift
The Gift Saga, Book 1
By: Effie Kammenou
Narrated by: Emily Lawrence

I love books, I enjoy reading them and listening to audiobooks, sometimes separately, sometimes together. I did both with this book and it blew me away, the story and narration is beyond exceptional. It should be called Effie Kammenou’s gift because that is what it is. You can feel the love she put into this story flowing off the pages. It is well written and w
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Evanthia's Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga - Women's fiction/ contemporary romance - Women's fiction 2106 Reader's Favorite Award finalist - Available in print, kindle and audible

Anastacia Fotopoulos has moved to the USA after the horrors of the second world war in order to educate herself and so take a step closer to fulfilling her dreams. She hadn’t anticipated falling in love and marrying the first handsome man to come her way, nor less to then be cruelly betrayed by those closest to her. It
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
~I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review~

This audiobook really amazed me. I rarely gives a book five stars, but this time I did!!
It’s the first book of three in “The Gift Saga”. It’s a heart-warming family saga about a Greek-American family and their life in Greece and NY (America).

The book starts with the story of Anastacia, as she returns home and finds her husband betraying her with another woman. She leaves him, and she doesn’t tell him she’s pregnant. She stay
Pat Allen
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An authentic Greek Story...

Complete with recipies for famous well-loved special Greek dishes.
It is said, "be true to yourself."
I found this story to be a delightfully charming real Greek story, spanning four generations, as written by Effie Kammenou. I am not Greek but went to school with a Greek girl who shared something of her culture with us. At reunions we revel in her gastronomic creations. I adore Greek dishes like buttery feather-light biscuits, bulging with almonds and rolled in icing su
Michele Howell
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful Authentic Greek Family Saga!!

This book made me laugh, made me angry at some characters at times and had me crying my heart out. The tight, loyal group of friends for 40 + yrs. as well as their families is an amazing story!! The Greek traditions and how important their heritage is to these families keeps them close and their friends they have grown up with are just as much family and always there for each other. The story takes you through first loves, lost loves, soul mates, children a
Sally Mieske
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Evanthia’s Gift is a wonderful story spanning 3 generations and following two families. It tells of the hardships of love, family, following your dreams and trying to stay true to their Greek culture. It’s a story about finding yourself, whether it through true love or a rebellious teenager. It’s a long listen, but a good one. It definitely kept my interest and it was interesting to learn about the Greek culture. There are some really good recipes at the beginning of several chapters. Emily Lawr ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very touching love story

This was a love story that touched two generation of a Greek family. Ana and
Alex had a love that was so deep and affected so many around them. Sophia, Ana's daughter, and Dean's love story started when they were teenagers but didn't come together again until years later. The author keeps the reader engaged with the rich development of the characters and plot.
Nicole Dunton
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never read a book that I have been so moved by as I was this book. It's a story about family, relationships, love, second chances, life, death. I felt like I was a part of the story. I learned a lot about Greek culture because of this book. It's authentic and beautiful. It's touching. I had to fight not to cry several times.

The narrator did a fantastic job. She made an already beautiful story even more amazing. This is a new to me narrator, but I'm glad I listened to this. I would love t
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting insight into what it must have been like to emigrate from Greece to America. In two parts it tells the story of Anastacia embarking on single motherhood in a new country with the support of her close friends. The second part is her daughter Sophia's story growing up as a Greek-American teenager.I found the first part grabbed me more than the second but I enjoyed the journey. Full of joy and sorrow, this book embraces all the emotions of life.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished listening to Evanthia’s Gift by Effie Kammenou, and I’m sad... sad that I came to the end of the first book in the series. I’m just grateful that the next book is available!

This is a beautiful story that spans over 50 years and multiple generations. I loved getting to know the characters and following their lives. I really feel like I know these characters and I truly care about them, having experienced their joys and sorrows, through the good times and the bad.

Emily Lawren
Subhajit Das
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
What I actually loved about the book is the touching and sensitively written plot it based upon. This book beholds one of the most significant and heart warming story that can touch any reader's heart since the very beginning of the book. Though it was bit lengthy that it took me more than one sitting to finish. But it was completely worthy my time. I would love to recommend this one.
Janet Cooke
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Some of this was so predictable that I am tempted to ignore the next 2 of the saga.
It was an easy read, so there is that.
AND good recipes.
I say borrow it or do as I did and buy it through BookBub.
Barbara G. Graybill
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From a book nerd

I read 2-5 books a week. At times I find myself gravitating back to re-read the great saga writers like Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michener and so many others. I missed that depth of writing in many books today. I was ecstatic to find and read this book. High praise and kudos to the writer for such an enthralling and engaging book.
Michael Wells
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beaut9iful book. The story of a Greek family along with Greek receipes
Shell Sullivan
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it

This was an epic tale of generations of strong women who love deeply. I enjoyed it, and have already recommended it to my mom! Well written and interesting. A nice insight into Greek traditions and life.
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Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she'd thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel

Other books in the series

The Gift Saga (3 books)
  • Waiting for Aegina (The Gift Saga, #2)
  • Chasing Petalouthes (The Gift Saga #3)

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