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Evanthia's Gift

(The Gift Saga #1)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  121 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 abl
Kindle Edition, 570 pages
Published August 7th 2015 by Effie Kammenou
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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  348 ratings  ·  121 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
Shelves: freebies
🎁 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
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
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 h ...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
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.
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
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
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
Bette H
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 a
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Diana Febry
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommend to readers who enjoy family sagas and sweet romance.
A delightful story of two Greek families relocated to New York. Strong female characters hold the families together through tragedy and joy. I picked up a great sense of both Greek culture and the historic period covered, the 1950s to 1970s. I thought the inclusion of several Greek receipes a lovely touch.
Jaci Miller
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A multi-generational family saga that follows the characters through love, tragedy, heartache, and the stages of life.

Evanthia’s Gift, the first book in the Gift saga, is a brilliantly written, touching, and emotionally charged story. Kammenou’s characters are engaging and real, providing the reader with not only the ability to connect with each but to engage in their emotional journey. Each was realistically flawed, broken, or somehow affected by their past, which made the reader engage in thei
Michelle °O°
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon
I was gifted this book by Effie and I was nervous to read it as I don't usually like books from the 1950-1970s timeframe. But this book blew me away. I loved the way the writing flowed and I was sucked in to all the Greek history of the story.

There are two love stories in the book and some heartache too. The first story starts with Ana and Alex and then their daughter Sophia. The book spans many years and I wish we had more of Alex. He was my favorite Hero and how despite everything he went thr
Katie B
In the 1950s Anastasia Fotopoulos leaves her husband after finding him in bed with another woman. She soon finds out she is pregnant with his child, and with the support of her friends, Stavros and Soula Papadakis, and other family members, Anastacia decides to raise the child as a single mother. When an old friend, Alexandros Giannakos, comes back into the picture and starts pursuing her, Anastacia tries her best to suppress her attraction to him with little success. But their love story could ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found the story of the 2 Greek families compelling and full of information and emotional depth ! It kept me captivated from beginning to end ....and I'm very glad Effie Kammenou has already written sequels! Looking forward to continue following their Saga !
Michael Aloysius O'Reilly
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicklit
This novel is a Greek-American saga told over several decades. In today’s terms the families and children are co-dependent, deeply religious and enmeshed and it all—ultimately--works for them. The struggles for true love are cataclysmic, seismic in their effect on the families but unlike modern society with its godlessness, abortion and families-without-fathers and mothers-without-partners there is a promise here that tradition can triumph. That patriarchy ultimately rules. The women work in the ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is not often when an author can make me smile and then a few pages later make me hold back my tears. The story flowed smoothly and is set in New York and Greece. Adding some history of events that occurred during war times in Greece.

Evanthia’s Gift, begins with Ana as a young woman, with devastating discoveries that she slowly overcomes with the help of her family, friends Stavros and Soula and later with Alex the love of her life.

Several surprises await the reader with twists and turns that
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Evanthia's Gift is a beautifully written story with incredible character that will stay on your mind even if you have already finished reading.

This book is the first of The Gift Series, and it is one for the ages. This story is one of the most real and passionate novel's I have read in a really long time. If I could compare this book to any other book it would be Little Women because of the close family and heartbreaking moment that Effie was able to create. The pace and flow of this kept me ea
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This first book in The Gift series is really a celebration of love – both romantic and familial. Whilst it is concerned with two romantic love stories; that of Anastacia in the 1950’s and of her daughter, Sofia, in the 1970’s, these romantic love stories are held together by a rich tapestry of Greek family life. It is this depiction of Greek life, far more than the love stories, which interested me. We learn all about the struggle for the Greeks to keep their culture, traditions and religious ob ...more
Jae Park
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Evanthia's Gift" is book 1 of the Gift Saga, and follows the life of Ana Fotopoulos in the 50s, and continues following the story of Ana and Alex's secrets and their daughter Sophia's life into the 70s.
This tale is a rollicking great read, full of Greek traditions and family issues. The Giannokos and Papadakis families are heart-warming to read about and the adventures of the star-crossed lovers Sophia and Dean is a story for the ages.
**Spoiler Alert**
When they both marry other people, I fe
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first in what promises to be a sweeping saga of family life. This book spans 50 years in the lives of two closely intertwined families. It begins in 1956, and tells the story of Anastacia Fotopoulos, who is betrayed by her husband and has to bring up her daughter alone. We follow her as she struggles to trust the man who can help her live a fulfilled life. The story then moves to the 1970’s and the story of Anastacia’s daughter, Sofia. Sofia falls in love deeply when she is very youn ...more
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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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