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Four Walls Paperback – June 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714531227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714531229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,342,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Themes of isolation and imprisonment dominate Hatziyannidis's enjoyable and peculiar debut novel. Set in a remote village on one of the Greek islands, the novel centers on Rodakis, a 25-year-old "essentially unemployed" and "irascible" loner who takes in Vaya, a woman on the run who carries a suspicious amount of luggage with her, at the urging of the village priest. Vaya and Rodakis slowly learn to trust one another, and Rodakis learns that Vaya has been hiding her infant daughter, Rosa, in one of her trunks. The three form an odd family, although, refreshingly, Rodakis and Vaya do not immediately develop a romantic relationship. While the early chapters are weakened by the stilted translation and a series of confusing flashbacks and flash forwards, Hatziyannidis's narrative hits its stride once Vaya encourages Rodakis to take up his dead father's bee-keeping business. Their recipe for honey draws unwanted attention from across the island and abroad, shattering their cloistered lives; everyone, it seems, wants the recipe, though none as badly as a group of monks who kidnap Rodakis and imprison him in a cave for years. It's a credit to Hatziyannidis that he pulls off a plausibly happy ending. (Sept. 18)
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Review

Probably the most atmospheric Greek novel of the year. -- Greek Vogue

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Walls can come in many forms. In his debut (2001) novel, Four Walls, Greek author Vangelis Hatziyannidis has written a story that encompasses walls in all their many guises.

E. Rodakis is the son of the famous honey maker S. Rodakis. After his father's death, Rodakis follows his dream of traveling, only to return to his childhood home on a small Greek island. He lives a solitary life. surrounded by his father's books and family possessions. His quiet life is disturbed when the village priest requests that he allows a stranger to take refuge in his home. The beaten and lame woman, Vaya, arrives and takes up residence in his house. At first it is difficult for Rodakis, a man who wants none of his possessions moved an inch, to adapt to this situation. But as he becomes more accustomed to the woman's presence, he and Vaya come to an understanding. With Vaya feeling safe from her past behind the walls of his home, Rodakis becomes aware of Rosa, her secret daughter she has kept hidden in a trunk. A family of sorts, Rodakis, Vaya and Rosa, emerges based only on proximity and familiarity. It is the decision to attempt a re-entry into the honey making business that solidifies their relationship. Vaya leads their quest for the ideal combination of plants that will meld into the perfect honey. She succeeds and their honey becomes known far and wide; it is a delicacy sold for riches. Called "Anglico"- made by angels- it attracts the attentions of those who wish to own the secret recipe for themselves. As Vaya finds herself drawn to explore the world outside of the estate, so the world begins to find its way inside the estate, to change their lives forever.
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