My Greek Books
It’s time for the May edition of My Greek Books!
How are you holding up? Don’t know about you, but for us, this month has flown by. It’s the last week of school for my kids, and we’re trying to keep going, keep each other sane. Thank goodness for books! They help us escape.
This month, I’ve bought more books and added still more to my Wish List! As you know, I love all things Greek. Anything to do with Greece… I almost exclusively read “Greek books”—books by Greek authors, books set in Greece or with Greek subjects. I told my husband last week that we need more bookcases!There’s no such thing as too many books. Books make me happy. So, I’ve surrounded myself with them.
If you’re just joining our little book party, For the past 15 years, I’ve been reviewing books and interviewing authors. You can find reviews on this blog, and past reviews in the WindyCity Greek archives.
People always ask what I’m reading, and I love to share book recommendations. With our shelter-in-place extended at least through the end of May, I’ve been seeking books that transport me to Greece. I love being immersed in a story, transported to our magical motherland, and for a while, forgetting what’s happening in the world right now. I must admit, this month’s list is short only because I’ve also been reading books on writing and editing. If you haven’t heard, I’m editing my first novel. For updates on my novel-in-progress, be sure to join my email list. I send out one email per month. Sign up here FREE.
Ready? Let’s get to it!
The Girl Under the Olive Tree by Leah Fleming
Simon & Schuster UK; Reissue edition, 2013
Only recently have I discovered Leah Fleming, the Brit author of “historical romances”. The acclaimed author has published 18 novels, and at least three are set in Greece. Some of her books have been translated into other languages. Her newest novel, A Wedding in the Olive Garden, just came out this month. I already ordered a copy. 😉 The author appears to have a penchant for olives… I must explore this!
About the book
Growing up in Scotland to a high society-obsessed British mother and a Greek father, Penelope is the black sheep. Her sister, Evadne, is “the pretty one” with zeal for the life her mother prizes, is the favorite. Much to her mother’s chagrin, Penelope longs for a different life.
Evadne gets married, then follows her husband to Athens where he assumes a diplomatic post. When she needs help, she summons Penny to Athens. Eager to get away and expand her horizons, Penny jumps at the chance. While her mother tells the world they’re “finishing Penny in Athens” and prepares for her debutante season, Penny has other plans. She learns about the Red Cross and signs up for training as a nurse. Then the war breaks out. Against her family’s wishes, she remains in Greece.
She finds herself in Crete, eventually stranded, as one of the few foreign nurses remaining on the island. She befriends Yolanda, a Jewish nurse, making her mission even more dangerous. When she catches the eye of a German officer, the unwanted attention proves life changing. Her friendship with a British officer she’s known since childhood complicates matters further.
Sixty years later, her family convinces her to journey to Crete for a war commemoration. She never thought she’d return, reliving those harrowing days. She comes full circle to unleash secrets of the past and to find someone she thought she’d lost forever.
The Girl Under the Olive Tree is an impeccably researched and fascinating tale that transports you to the Crete during WWII. Leah Fleming gives us a compelling story full of intrigue and suspense. If you don’t believe in fate, this book will change your mind. I felt like I was back in Crete, recognizing places and living this story. Add it to your list.
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One Summer in Santorini by Sandy Barker
One More Chapter (Harper Collins), 2019
Author Sandy Barker loves travel and delights in adventure. One Summer in Santorini is her debut novel, inspired by her real-life story. For its many humorous moments, she calls it a romantic comedy.
About the book
Fresh from a break-up with Neil, Sarah is done with romance. Ready to rediscover herself and the passions she left behind for that ill-fated relationship, she books a sailing trip to the Greek islands. While waiting to catch the sail, she encounters two men—a younger American, and a “sexy silver fox”. She shrugs it off and remains focused—she’s sworn off men.
On the boat, she joins a small group of strangers for a life-changing journey. To her surprise, the American man is among the passengers. Sarah begins a flirtation with the “gorgeous American boy”. He says he’s not interested in a relationship either, but he’s taken with her. Then one night, she encounters the “silver fox”. While Sarah is moving on from her relationship and has sworn off love, she finds herself with two suitors—and she’s attracted to both. Will she have a holiday fling or just flirt? Will she begin a new life on her own, or will she take another chance on love?
What a fun read! In One Summer in Santorini, Sandy Barker takes us on a virtual journey to the Greek islands. We party along with Sarah and her new “floating family”. We laugh with her as she pokes fun at herself and cheer her on as she reclaims her confidence. This one will make you want to book a sailing adventure in Greece!
Sandy has published a second novel set in Paris, a third set in Sydney due in July, and a Christmas novel is coming soon. This debut novelist is one to watch.
My Greek Books—May Edition
Well, that’s it for this month’s edition of My Greek Books! This month, I also read and reviewed Wild Abandon: A Journey to the Deserted Places of the Dodecanese by Jennifer Barclay. Read my interview with the author and review HERE. We also did a Book Chat on Facebook. You can read it on my Facebook page. Stay tuned, as I’ll be announcing a new Book Chat soon! Click on the above titles to learn more about those books and their authors. I’ll see you next month with more of My Greek Books! Stay well!
Check out some of my book reviews in the archives of Windy City Greek magazine. Click HERE.
Maria A. Karamitsos is an Amazon affiliate. By clicking through the links, when you make a purchase, she will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It helps to support her writerly endeavors Thank you!