Rosalind Bryden's Reviews > Those Who Are Loved

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop
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really liked it

'Those Who are Loved' follows the story of Themis from her childhood in Athens to old age. As an old lady she tends to keep her political views to herself and there are times when both her children and grandchildren cannot understand her apparent apathy in turbulent political times. However Themis has lived an extraordinary life, suffering through the Nazi occupation of Greece and subsequently joining the Communist Party and fighting in the civil war. She has experienced extreme hardship, loss through war and famine, imprisonment and torture.

This is not the Greece of sun-drenched beaches and white tavernas. 'Those Who are Loved' takes us through the political turmoil of 20th century Greece. It is incredibly cleverly written. We follow the life of Themis and her family as they are affected by each of the political changes and see how they react. Themis has 3 siblings and the Nazi occupation sees the family almost torn apart by differing loyalties - from collaboration and friendship with the German occupiers to acts of resistance. These political differences see each of the siblings take their own course in life, however a bond remains between them and with the birth of the next generation, surprising friendships and relationships are built within the family.

This is a story about a family and their survival in extreme political times. Although external events are key to the way the story unfolds, it remains about the human impact of the events - love, friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, loss...I loved the characters and whilst I could not always identify with the choices they made, I could understand why they made them. And we see that there are no winners in war - all the characters have suffered and lost - which is part of the reason that by the end of the story Themis just wants to keep her family close to her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and became more and more engrossed. I would highly recommend it.

My sincere thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and to Victoria Hislop for the opportunity to review this book.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 17, 2019 – Finished Reading
May 20, 2019 – Shelved

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