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Review Of The Island


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#1 Completely Crete

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:12 PM

Despite living in Crete and visiting the island of Spinalonga I knew nothing of this brilliant novel until my sister, living in the UK, enthused about how great it was. On her recommendation I began to read The Island and was enthralled by it.

Victoria Hislop, the wife of Ian Hislop of Private Eye and "Have I Got News For You" fame, authors this fabulous book.

It is her debut novel and has become an award winning bestseller and voted Richard and Judy's Book Club Best Summer Read for 2006. It’s the fictional story about the loves, lives and losses of four generations of Cretans. Set in the main in the small fishing village of Plaka, East Crete and the real life former leper colony island of Spinalonga, just off the coast of Plaka.

The novel relates the tale of a family history over the last century. It begins, however, with Alexis in present day London, about to decide on major changes to her life. To help her decide on her future, she looks to the past for inspiration and visits her mother’s birthplace in Plaka, Crete.

Through questioning an old friend of her mother, Alexis uncovers family secrets and forgotten shadows connected with her mother's, her grandmother's, and her great-grandmother's past.

With leprosy being key to the story, you could be forgiven for thinking that The Island is all doom and gloom. But Hislop brings the touching story to life very vividly and it was a really pleasurable, easy read. There are some lovely descriptions of Crete and the Cretan way of life, as well as well-drawn characters.

As a novel, The Island has come in for a fair amount of criticism that I for one strongly disagree with. I loved it! The author captured the warmth, charm and passion of the Cretans and of the Island of Crete, and poignantly described the heartbreaking situation of a time and place that still haunts to this day. You simply must read this heartrending, brilliantly descriptive and meticulously researched piece of work, whether you are able to visit the island or not. If you do read the book, then you will surely be drawn to this intriguing and mystical place.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly.


#2 Aurelia

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:41 PM

Hi, thanks so much for your comments about this book. I will visit Amazon and see if I can
purchase it. You mentioned it received some negative comments. Can you elaborate?


aurelia

#3 DaveW.

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:02 PM

I think that if you enter Victoria Hislop into the 'search' facility at the top of the page you will be directed to several comments that were made about the book last year as we were all looking for a holiday read. Personall I enjoyed the read, even if as some suggest it wasn't historically correct....and before someone else, who shall remain nameless <_< , points out perhaps the review should have been posted under book review heading that yet again can be found on a funny little blue bar across the top of a page marked 'reviewas'. B)
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!

#4 DaveW.

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:09 PM

....sorry 'Completely Crete' forgot to welcome you to the site. <_< In what part of the island are you living? I'm sure that you'll find lots of interesting things here and I, for one, am looking forward to reading your stories of life in Crete.
If you look like your passport picture....you probably need the holiday!

#5 Emma1310

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:36 PM

Trouble with the review function is waiting for it to be moderated and posted.

I enjoyed the book too and don't know enough history to know what's innaccurate but luckily I know 'fiction' means 'made-up'.

<_<
Now is the time for drinking, now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.

#6 emily

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:54 AM

i loved the book too.. read it year before last I think, I always read it eithe ron holiday or just before I go to get in the mood... not long now til I am back and I can't wait :D :lol: