My Greek Books
Can you believe it’s October? It just snuck right in here. LOL. The temperatures are dipping but at least the sun is shining! It’s been chilly, but the best way to warm up is to curl up with a good book!
Glad you stopped by to find what’s new in “My Greek Books”. Put on your imaginary sunhat and come along for a virtual escape to the islands of Cyprus, Naxos, and Crete. Then buckle up for a journey to Nazi-occupied Athens.
Keep going to find out what I’ve been reading.
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The Summer Will Come by Soula Christodoulou
Independently published (March 7, 2018)
This story by Greek-Cypriot Author Soulla Christodoulou follows two Greek-Cypriot families from Cyprus to England. In mid-1955 things are changing in Cyprus. A campaign for independence from Britain is brewing, while another begins for enosis with Greece. The uncertainty and tumult turn their idyllic life upside down, as the clashes soon become deadly. Fearing for their families, many up stakes for London.
Evangelia and her children, Elena and Andreas, flee, hoping to join Kosta, the estranged husband/father who emigrated years before. Evangelia also yearns to reconnect with her mother and sister who moved to London a while back. Fearing the unknown, they leave their beloved island. In another town, when Anastasia’s brother Michael is murdered, she and her family also head to London. Both families struggle to assimilate into their new life and country.
Elena meets Anastasia’s son Christaki and they fall in love. They convince their families to allow them to marry, but Kosta pulls a fast one, jeopardizing Elena’s future and happiness. Will they live happily ever after? Will the families settle in to their new home?
In this story, we see the immigrants’ plight, as they work hard to forge a new life, yet hold tight to the traditions of their homeland. The Summer Will Come is a story of love, war, betrayal, new beginnings, and family.
Soulla just announced that the Greek version will soon be released. Check out her other novels as well.
Clouds Over the Aegean by Alexander Rassogianis
Outskirts Press (May 9, 2020)
In this fourth book by Chicago Greek Author Alexander Rassogianis, we follow Greek-American Teacher-turned-Investigator Nick on his travels to his mother’s native island of Naxos to reconnect with his roots—and her past. One day, while chatting with his elderly mother, he reveals his plan to travel to Greece and their ancestral island. While Anna is thrilled since she never had the opportunity to return, she holds something back. Nick probes for information, but she shuts down.
He travels to the island and tours the French Catholic private school his mother attended. While searching for old photos and information about the time when his mother lived on the island, he learns that a Greek Orthodox priest has been killed along a mountain road. His investigator instincts kick in, and he finds himself on a quest to solve the murder.
He locates his mother’s long lost teenage best friend, Evlampia in Larissa. When he arrives, he learns from her daughter, Christina, that she has passed away. As they discuss their mothers’ years at the school, Christina reveals a disturbing secret: while at school, their mothers overheard a conversation about murders of Greek priests. They’re sworn to secrecy, fearing for their lives. Later, they travel to the island together to seek the truth. But inquiring about this particular secret could cost them their lives.
Alexander Rassogianis’ who-dun-it is a quick read that takes us on an intriguing journey to the island of Naxos. I love the Chicago references and the bits of history mixed in, as well as the opportunity to travel—at least in my mind—to this beautiful Greek island.
Panagiota by John Manuel
lulu.com; First Edition (May 2, 2019)
PhilHellene Author John Manuel, who lives on the island of Rhodes, transports us to Nazi-occupied Athens. This prolific writer of more than a dozen novels tells the story of a Greek-British man who when on one of his cherished visits with his dying aunt, agrees to listen and record her previously untold life story. George has always had a soft spot for his Aunt Panayiota, and gladly agrees, much to the chagrin of his cousins, who think he’s tiring her out, or perhaps has an ulterior motive. The retired accountant relishes his time, fascinated by his aunt’s stories of survival in Athens during WWII. In her lucid moments, his aunt, battling cancer and dementia, shares her story. As George was born during that time, she’s keen to share it with him only. It’s one that will change his life forever.
Yiota, as she’s called, her sister Georgia, and their brother Stefanos grew up in Athens. Their family ran a restaurant in the Plaka neighborhood, featuring live music. The lived an idyllic life, until the Nazis came to town. Stefanos went off to fight and ultimately disappeared during the Greek Civil War. Aunt Yiota recounts the days when the Nazis marched into Athens, the horrors of the war, the deaths of their parents. She tells of the days she and her sister, then teenagers, were left alone and in fear for their lives, even after Georgia’s fiance moved in with them for protection. The extraordinary tale takes the sisters through some harrowing times, leading to their relocation to Bath, UK. Amid the horrors of the war, they learn that there are still good people in the world.
This fascinating glimpse into life in Nazi-occupied Athens is loosely based on stories told to the author by his mother-in-law. As Yiota revealed her story, I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t imagine it would take the turn that it did. This tale of family secrets, history, survival, and love is one you won’t soon forget.
As Greek As It Gets by Sue Roberts
One of six novels by British Author Sue Roberts, it’s the first of her books I’ve read.
Shy Alice is planning her wedding. Her fiancé, Max takes over the planning. She prefers a small, quiet affair, though Max, whose company has recently taken off, wants to celebrate in style. Much to her chagrin, not only does the guest list grow, but so does the size of the spectacle. Not wanting to rock the boat, she remains silent. Since her family lived in poverty for years, Max’s spendthrift ways scare her. Meanwhile, Alice, an artist who is afraid of her own dreams, works in a local gift shop and struggles to embrace her own ambition.
Max proposed to her on the island of Crete. The memory, as well as the stunning island, remain in her heart. When it’s time for the bachelorette, or “hen” party, as they call it in the UK, the girls plan a holiday on Crete. This holiday changes everything.
Alice tries to reconnect with her freer, more fun-loving self. She shocks her friends by belting out a tune on karaoke night—no one knew she could sing. Her confidence soars. In addition to the sun and fun, she begins to contemplate her life. As Alice confronts her fears and her doubts about her future, she nearly ruins it. Will Alice get married? Will it be a spectacular affair? And what of her ambitions? You’ll have to read it to find out.
As Greek As It Gets is a quick and fun romp. Escape to the amazing island of Crete. Enjoy the virtual sunshine and remember not to ignore yourself and your needs. Count your blessings and do what makes you genuinely happy.
My Greek Books – October Edition
Well, that’s it for this month! I’ve already started a new book and I’ve got several more on deck. Can’t wait to dig in! Grab a book and have a virtual escape. See you next time!
Till next time – keep reading!
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