From Publishers Weekly
Set on the Greek island of Andros during the first half of the 20th century, Karystiani's first novel to be translated into English centers on Orsa Saltaferou, a jovial teenager who falls in love with charming and sensual fisherman Spyros Maltambes. But when the time comes to settle down, her imperious mother, Mina, decides that Spyros is not the man for her daughter and arranges a marriage to the richer Nikos Vatokouzis, also a fisherman. Without a word of protest, Orsa resigns herself to her fate-until she returns from her honeymoon to find her younger sister, Mosca, married to Spyros. Further intensifying emotions, the sisters and their respective husbands must live with just a staircase between them. And because both men are sailors (as is the sisters' father), they often travel for long stretches and leave the sisters-along with Mina and many other women on the island-to look after the homes, raise their children and chat, trying to gather news about their husbands and, when it comes, the war. With a talent for crafting graceful narration and poignant dialogue, Karystiani presents a praiseworthy novel of a life caught between love and loss.
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Karystianis The Jasmine Isle changes the way all of us see modern Greece. -- Neue Zurcher Zeitung
She writes with a marvelous, original mixture of eroticism and poetry. -- La Monde (Paris)
Such joy that you want to sip it word by word or reread parts before you have even finished it. -- To Vima (Athens)
The beauty of the language, like the landscape itself, makes this novel an extraordinary reading pleasure. -- Die Wochenzeitung
The divine Ioanna Karystiana is the great hope for Greek fiction. -- The Guardian (London)