Oh……… how I enjoyed this book. I was lucky enough to win a copy for the lovely people at Readers First and sorry to say that it took me a bit to get around to reading it.
The original synopsis reminded me of The Island by Victoria Hislop (this is also mentioned on the front of the book) which I had read some years ago but had very fond memories of. This is the synopsis :-
Can you escape your past in paradise?
‘The story started at dawn on the fourteenth of September, 1943 . . .’
All her life, London-born Angelika has been intrigued by her mother’s secret past. Now planning her wedding, she feels she must visit the remote Crete village her mother grew up in.
Angie’s estranged elderly grandmother, Maria, is dying. She welcomes Angie with open arms – it’s time to unburden herself, and tell the story she’ll otherwise take to her grave.
It’s the story of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War, of horror, of courage and of the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. And it’s the story of bitter secrets that broke a family apart, and of three enchanting women who come together to heal wounds that have damaged two generations.
This wonderful novel will transport you to the shores of Crete and stay in your heart long after you turn the last page.
The story is mainly set in Crete where the author, Patricia Wilson had lived and I adored her descriptions of this throughout the book. It starts with a woman, Angelika eager to meet her family that her mother Poppy had run away from to England and had been estranged from for nearly 40 years as she is due to marry.
Angelika meets her grandmother Maria for the first time and we are transported back to the Second World War and the German occupation of Crete through the memories of Maria. This storyline was so well written and utterly heartbreaking but it is a story that needs to be told to find out what happened all those years ago to Poppy, Maria and the rest of the family.
A brilliant debut novel that I just couldn’t put down.