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A Perfect Stone

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  19 reviews
How do you find a place to belong when there's nowhere else to go?

Living alone, eighty-year-old Jim Philips potters in his garden feeding his magpies. He doesn't think much of his nosy neighbours or telemarketers. All he wants to do is live in peace.

Cleaning out a box belonging to his late wife, he finds something which triggers the memories of a childhood he's hidden, not
ebook, 350 pages
Published January 21st 2019 by Karadie Publishing
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Theresa Smith
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2018
‘During the Greek Civil War, it is estimated that there were up to 38,000 Aegean Macedonian and Greek children removed from their homes.’

The power of A Perfect Stone lies in its historical narrative, outlining the fate of Greece’s children during the years of the Greek Civil War. It’s an interesting account of one the side effects of war, the displacement of children via evacuation to ensure their safety. I’m not a huge fan of child narrators, but in this instance, it enhanced the story greatly.
Kathryn Gauci
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a complicated event in Greek history and even today, a story which still divides communities. The author has chosen to tell it from duel timelines. Jim, now living in Australia, is hospitalized and his past is uncovered. We then step back to the civil war between the Royalists, called the fascists in the book, and the Partisans, the Commiunists. The story is then told through the eyes of a child. At times I was not sure if this was meant to be Young Adult fiction, as seeing things throug ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: author
Shelves: australia, 18review, war
Greek migrants have been coming to Melbourne ever since the Gold Rush but their numbers surged in the postwar era when Arthur Calwell’s ‘populate or perish’ immigration program offered hope and a home to peoples devastated by the war. People of Greek heritage are now an integral part of the fabric of our city, so much so that Melbourne is said to be the third largest Greek city in the world. Like many other Melburnians I have friends of Greek heritage and I have celebrated their festivals, dined ...more
Meredith Langford
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being a typical old school white bread Aussie baby boomer all I learned at school in the 1960s was English (Anglo- Saxon) history. Such an insular, island mentality which doesn’t reflect modern day Australia at all, and didn’t then. In the last decade I watched Joanna Lumley in one of her television travel journals interview a survivor from an earlier Greek tragedy. In Jeffrey Eugenides novel Middlesex, there were horrific and affecting glimpses of this period. In the late 1970s in Paris I liste ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like crossing a Ho Chi Minh city street to get to the other side, the movement of time in this book is melodic. There is immediately a soft spot for the character of Jim in his fight to stay present, constantly reassuring Helen and his anguish as he captures the memories of his story.

And then, the theme of the stone, a beautiful thread that makes me want to look and find a stone of my own.

This is a wonderful book. It is informative, wrenching and hopeful. A must read.
Clare Rhoden
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It's for every child who was, and is, a refugee seeking the right to a better life", says SC Karakalsas of her latest novel. Seeking any life at all, one might say.
Elderly Australian Jim is grieving for his wife Anna, and finding life more and more difficult to manage despite the help of his daughter Helen. When a stroke causes Jim to lose his ability to speak English, his secret history as a Macedonian child refugee during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) becomes impossible to hide any longer.
Susan Appleyard
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nine-year-old Dimitri is exposed to the senseless brutalities of war when his father is taken away to prison for no apparent fault. Later he becomes one of the thousands of children forcibly removed from their homes to save them from becoming victims of the Greek civil war. Accompanied by a few brave women, Dimitri and his friends make a gruelling trek through the mountains without adequate food, clothing or shelter and exposed to bombs dropped from “blackbirds” as well as the risk of a chance e ...more
Barbara Strickland
A wonderful read

This book was a complex painful history brought to life to remind us of things we can’t allow to happen again. Children taken from their homes for ‘safety’ harrowingly make their way to what is supposed to be freedom. Through the eyes of one of the children, a Macedonian boy who really doesn’t understand the difference between partisans, communists and royalist we see the effects not of just the moment but of the moments that follow for those who survive.
Modern day Australian Jim
Chris Foley
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Perfect Stone is a moving story of childhood and old age set against the traumatic experiences of child refugees during the Greek Civil War. The novel splits the protagonist's life into parallel stories. Jim is eighty and growing increasingly irritable in his old age since the death of his wife, his life long love. Dimitri is the child of a Macedonian family in northern Greece that desperately tries to stay together through poverty, oppression and war. The story follows the suffering of both J ...more
Diana Plater
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Perfect Stone tells the moving story of Dimitri, a child refugee from the Greek civil war.

Dimitri’s Australian name is Jim and he had never told his daughter, Helen his true story or heritage, and that of her mother, Anna.

Since the 50s he has suppressed his memories but in a series of flashbacks he remembers them, and the reader learns of the horror and guilt he has tried to hide.

Jim, a Macedonian who grew up in northern Greece. tells the little-known story of this civil war and how he manage
Stephanie Rouse
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story told from two timelines - Jim in the modern day and Dimitri the child. Harrowing in parts it deals with fear, loss and grief. It’s a great yarn and exposes a little known events in the history of Greece and the Slavic states.
It’s well paced and the author manages to keep you drawn in by ending the chapters with a bit of a cliffhanger. The characters are well drawn and sympathetic: Helen’s relationship with her father and her father’s feelings about Tony, Helen’s partner, are am
Elise McCune
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A Perfect Stone is a dual timeline story with one narrative set in Melbourne, where Jim Phillips, makes a discovery that brings back long-suppressed memoires from his childhood during the Greek Civil War in 1948. In the other narrative, a young boy, Dimitri (Jim), makes a horrendous journey from his village to safety over the border. It is a story of loss and survival intersperesed with the history of a war I knew little about. Highly recommended.

Eugene Connor
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was greatly moved by this story of a young boy who was forced to flee the Greek Civil war in 1948. The anguish of the old man dealing with what happened seemed real as I've met older people who have lived through war and have suffered in silence because of it. I liked the switch in timelines and really enjoyed the writing. I was thoroughly immersed and couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Karakaltsas writes a clever dual narrative of one man’s difficult journey of recording his harrowing war-torn childhood.

Highlighting moments of terror juxtaposed with lifetime friendships forged from shared experience, the story is told from Jim’s twilight years of reclaimed stolen identity.

Nostalgic, tragic, yet heartwarming. Obviously well researched and convincing.

Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed this book. I didn't know about the Greek civil war so enjoyed it from a historical perspective. The struggle of the children is heartbreaking but offers hope for anyone willing to work and put forth the effort to succeed in life.
Helen Hollick
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

"This is a fictional story but based on actual events, and the author wastes not a word in evoking sympathy for those most vulnerable members of society, without ever becoming maudlin."
Jack Lyons
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic story by S.C Karakaltsas
Christine G
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Could not put this book down. It was awesome reading and I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good story. Excellent holiday reading
Linda Jackim Werlein
I loved it

A fascinating look at the way children were separated from their families and sent across borders during the Greek Civil War.
Mark Hoyne
rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2019
Clare Dytch
rated it it was ok
Oct 21, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2019
Ann K. Furlong
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2020
Claire Davis
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2020
Carolyn Dove
rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2020
Hannah Burrows
rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2020
Lesley Hurley
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2020
Carol Dean
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2020
Billie K
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2020
Marilyn Hughes
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Aug 23, 2020
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review of A Perfect Stone by S C Karakaltsas 1 3 Nov 12, 2018 02:54PM  

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