My Greek Books
My Greek books is back! Happy New Year! Can’t believe it’s 2022! Happy January as well. We’ve had a lot of family stuff going on so I had to take a month off. Hope your holidays were joyful.
Despite the craziness, I did get in some reading. I’d lose my mind if I didn’t! Hope you got in some reading time too.
As I write this, it’s about 7 degrees Fahrenheit here in Chicago. I just want to stay by the fire with a cup of tea, a blanket, and a book!
And now, without further ado, here are the latest My Greek Books!
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The Last Mulberry Tree by Christina Kellaris Tranter
Self-published (June 19, 2021)
Greek-Cypriot-Brit author Christina Kellaris Tranter was born in Cyprus and moved to the UK when she was five-years-old. For her debut novel, she pulled from her vivid memories of her time in Cyprus, to share this story based on her mother’s journey.
In 1930s Cyprus, Anna longs to break free from societal norms and traditional roles and expectations of women. As the British military presence grows in her village, one soldier captures her heart, yet she cannot act on it. She’s surrendered to an arranged marriage to a Greek-Cypriot man who leaves for the UK and doesn’t maintain contact with her. Her returns a few times, in which Anna becomes pregnant. She raises her children alone and tries to forge a decent life for them. When her father is murdered, everything changes. She and her children move to the UK to join her husband, where everything she’s known and holds true is challenged.
I love reading stories based on true events. The history is fascinating. This story gives us a glimpse into a time in the not-so-distant past, to places we know—and may have visited. The Last Mulberry Tree is an epic tail of a woman’s struggle through expectations, about culture, dreams put on hold, and so much more. If you’ve ever pondered your own place in the world and how that relates to your own hopes and dreams and the expectations placed on you, this is a book for you.
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The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis, translated by Patrick Leigh Fermor
New York Review of Books (November 3, 2015)
I’ve had this book for a while, but since I typically write about newer books, I kept passing it up. That was a mistake! This book, written by George Psychoundakis and translated by Patrick Leigh Fermor, is a gem. Psychoundakis was just 21 when the Nazis invaded Crete. He kept journals about his time as a guerilla fighter during the Resistance. During that time, the group of fighters, which included Cretans and Brits, became very close. Leigh Fermor became a friend, and obtained access to these journals and translated them, Leigh Fermor includes some of his own editorial notes as well as pictures of those brave men.
We follow this mission, through caves and gorges and mountains in Crete, as these men fought against the Nazis. It’s a fascinating and chilling first-hand account of the German Occupation and the Cretan Resistance. I’m 85% through and I can’t put it down. If you love history, love Crete, add The Cretan Runner to your list.
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Heartland a Novella by Dougie McHale
PhilHellene Author Dougie McHale lives in Scotland with his family and has penned several novels set in Greece and Edinburgh. When it comes to Greece, he says on his website, “Greece occupies my heart. Her history, culture, religion, people, landscape, light, colours and sea inspire me every day. There is almost a spiritual quality to it.” While I’ve been aware of McHale and his books for some time, this is the first of his works that I have read. And what a delight.
Yannis runs a café in Kefalonia. He’s never married or had children. As he reaches the end of his life, he worries for the fate of the kafeneio, which his family has run for four generations. Ultimately, his nephew Chris, who lives abroad, agrees to return to the island to take it over. He soon realizes he doesn’t know much about the customs and traditions of his homeland. Fortunately, his uncle’s friends and confidantes help him as he muddles through his management of the café. When he meets Elinor, a lawyer who is also from the island but has gone to live on the mainland, everything changes. Each has secrets, and each has returned to their island, leaving their old lives behind. As they act on their attraction to each other, will love make them both confront their pasts and stay on the island? You’ll have to read it to find out.
Heartland is a quick read. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to know more about Chris and Elinor and what happened next. McHale has a new book coming out in 2022, and I’m looking forward to reading it and his other works.
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My Greek Books—January 2022 Edition
That’s it for this month! Happy New Year and Happy Reading! May you read lots of books this year! I’ll be back next month with more of My Greek Books! See you then.