Friday, December 11, 2009

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Click to view large image of cover in new window...This is yet another novel that languished on my bookshelves waiting to be read for far too long.  A fictional story of a families ties to a real life setting.

Sofia and her daughter Alexis are not the heroines of this book as the blurb on the cover might lead you to believe but the descendants of this mother and daughter most certainly are the real protagonists.  Sofia had always felt humiliated by her past and kept it hidden from her husband and children for many years. It is only after Alexis expresses an interest in visiting Crete where her mother was born that Sofia has the chance to heal the wounds and perceive her ancestry in a totally different light.
The main bulk of the novel is the story of these ancestors as related by a friend from the past, Fotini.  It is an absorbing story of a family torn apart by tragedy, the root of which is mainly caused by leprosy.

I now feel I understand a little more about the stigma of Leprosy which sadly is a continuing problem in the 21st Century in developing countries.
I thoroughly enjoyed this as it has much more depth to it than the average romantic novel.  It has also made me interested in visiting Crete, especially, Plaka  Elounda , Agios Nikolaos  and the island of  Spinalonga itself.

Main entrance

Entrance from the sea to the island of Spinalonga


  1. You have books on your shelf, waiting to be read? Books have a similar shelf-life as lindt chocolates in our house...the unlucky few that end up here are gobbled up in a feeding frenzy. English books are so expensive here, and I've never quite got the hang of Italian writers.

  2. Yes Deborah loads as when in the Uk I cannot pass bookshops without being tempted inside and never leave empty handed! Also thanks to two wonderful websites we are never without a supply of books to read. Maybe I can tempt you into joining in the fun?

  3. Do visit Crete. You won't be disappointed.

  4. Oh yes Crete is definitely on my to visit Wishlist.

  5. I loved this book and a visit to Elounda and Spinalonga is a must - I visited there years before this book was written and fell in love with the Island then its very atmospheric.

  6. Beadyjan, thanks for calling by and commenting. It is certainly somewhere I would love to visit one day.

  7. I loved this and it also really made me want to visit. That's a great photo of the entrance to Spinalonga.

  8. Welcome Rhiana and thanks for commenting, it is appreciated.


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