My Greek Books
Happy New Year and welcome back to My Greek Books! I read a lot over the holidays and Santa brought me some new books. I’m so excited for this year! This month’s reads take me to London, Cyprus, Naxos, and to the East Coast.
So, without further ado…here’s what I’ve been reading.
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The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine
Harper Paperbacks (July 12, 2022)
Liv Constantine is the pen name of Greek-American sisters Lynne Constantine (she also publishes under the name L.C. Shaw) and Valerie Constantine. They had been writing individually for years, but the magic they create together has made them international best-selling authors. Their psychological thrillers have taken the world by storm. The Last Mrs. Parrish, their debut joint novel, was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and Netflix purchased the rights to turn it into a series. More on that as it develops. Their next novel, The Senator’s Wife (Bantam), is due May 23, 2023.
About The Stranger in the Mirror
Addison is about to marry a wonderful—and wealthy—man, but something’s not right. It’s just that she doesn’t know who she is. A few years back, a Good Samaritan trucker found her on the side of a New Jersey highway, bleeding and confused. She had no idea how she got there, didn’t know her name. The trucker brought her home, where he and his wife nursed her back to health, becoming her surrogate family. Her memory never returned, and she tried to forge a new life with a new identity, but all the while, something nagged at her. Had she done something bad or witnessed something she shouldn’t have?
In Boston, a man searches for his wife, convinced she would not just up and leave him and their young daughter. He reassures the young girl that he’ll bring her mother home and they’ll be a family again. One day the man sees Addison in a shop and reveals that he’s her husband and he must take her home. Addison goes, but her fiancé Gabriel as well as her new family aren’t convinced. And so we embark on Addison’s journey to rediscovering herself and what happened to her. Can she just go home like nothing happened? Why did she leave? What did happen? You’ll have to read it to find out.
My Greek Books review
I had high expectations for The Stranger in the Mirror, and I was not disappointed. The story hooked me early and I couldn’t put it down. I’d stay up way too late to read and then couldn’t get to sleep thinking about it. Just when I thought Addison was reunited with her family and that would be the end of the story, it hit me like a sucker punch. Hold on to your hats, because Liv Constantine delivers the goods, with a story chock full of suspense and plenty of twists and turns to keep you glued to the page.
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The Village House by Soulla Christodoulou
Kingsley Publishers (October 21, 2022)
Greek-Cypriot-Brit Soulla Christodoulou is the author of several novels set between England and her beloved Cyprus. Read my review of The Summer Will Come here. Soulla is incredibly supportive of other writers. I always enjoy her positive, uplifting messages on social media.
About The Village House
Katianna, a young, successful entrepreneur living in London, receives a letter from an attorney in Cyprus, requesting her presence on a family matter. It’s her first trip back in a while, as she has been wrapped up in growing her award-winning dating agency. She’s inherited her grandmother’s village house, a home filled with many cherished childhood memories and the lingering presence of her beloved yiayia. With the help of her cousin and some new friends, this workaholic is lulled back into the island pace of life. But her life is in London, so she decides to renovate the house and sell it. The memories rush in and she’s filled with nostalgia. And enjoys the flirtations of the handsome builder, both of which send her into a tug-of-war with her own emotions, heart, life, and future.
She returns to London to discover that her trusted business advisor hasn’t been forthright, and she could lose the business. Caught in the frenzy to save all she’s worked hard for, she tries to put Cyprus behind her, but can’t, and begins to question everything.
She travels back and forth to Cyprus to finish the rehab on the house. Can she sell it and leave it all behind? Can she have her London life and keep her Cyprus refuge? Will love and family prevail? You’ll have to read it to find out.
My Greek Books review
Soulla Christodoulou’s love for Cyprus shines through in all her work. I’ve not been to Cyprus, but reading her words made me move it higher on my list of places to travel. Soulla’s characters are real and relatable, and their stories draw you in. A quick and delightful read, The Village House will tug at your heartstrings and make you re-evaluate the meaning of home and happiness.
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The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Celadon Books (June 15, 2021)
Born and raised in Cyprus, Alex Michaelides studied English Literature in England and Screenwriting in Los Angeles. His first novel, The Silent Patient, which sold in a record-breaking 49 countries, occupied a spot on ‘The New York Times Bestseller List’ for more than a year.
About The Maidens
Greek-Cypriot Mariana is a group therapist with her own troubled past, living in London. Since her husband’s untimely death, she’s buried herself in her work. Following the death of her sister and her husband, Mariana became guardian to her niece, Zoe, now away at Cambridge University, Mariana’s alma mater—and where she met her late husband. She receives a disturbing call from Zoe, and heads to Cambridge to calm her. When she arrives, she learns that Zoe’s missing friend has been found dead.
Mariana starts asking questions. Her gut tells her the killer is a handsome and smooth-talking American professor of Greek tragedy. But his students adore him and vouch for him. She then learns of his secret society of female students, called The Maidens. As Mariana works through the history and lore of the university, she’s followed by reminders of her husband. Unlocking metaphors in Greek tragedy, she believes it can only be the professor. When another body is found, Mariana is determined to prove he’s the killer and protect Zoe. But at what cost?
My Greek Books review
The Maidens caught me off guard, and it took me a while to shake it off. My experience with this book was unusual. I started to read and was intrigued, but I found I could only read a few chapters at a time. Something felt like it was “enough” for that particular reading session. Then I’d go back to it another time, read a bit more, and encounter the same feeling. I continued at this pace for a week, then realized that the words needed to sit, to marinate. They seeped into my psyche, and whoa, that ending snuck up on me and knocked me off my feet. Alex Michaelides is a masterful storyteller, weaving in history, ancient drama, and mythology into a dark, intelligent thriller of epic proportions.
My Greek Books—January 2023 Edition
Great reads this month! Can’t wait to share next month’s picks. Check back in February for a new edition of My Greek Books. See you then!