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The Island Paperback – Bargain Price, July 24, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
If I refer to the novel as a family saga that sounds trite. It's so much more. But I loved the unveiling of the family history, especially the relationships between the female relatives. And whilst the subject matter--leprosy--is harrowing, this is an uplifting read, one filled with hope. I found it impossible to put down.
No surprise that Greek TV channel Mega has created it into a series, also worth watching (if you underatand Greek, of course).
It wasn't and the reason lies in the stylistic format of the book. It is a story within a story of a young woman, Alexis, traveling to her mother's home village on Crete and discovering the family secrets that her mother had kept hidden from her all her life. The mother's life story is told in a style I would call newspaper reporting by an old woman from the village who had been best friends with the young woman's grandmother. Alexis's great grandmother and mother had been quarantined on the island after contracting leprosy. The actual events in the book are heart-wrenching: the mother of two young girls sent to the island to die, one of those daughters eventually being sent there on the eve of her wedding, the discovery of a cure for leprosy, a love kindled on the island, deceit, treachery, adultery. The events would have made me bawl, but the matter of fact reporting style strips them of any emotional impact whatsoever.
In addition I had some problems with the lack of character development. The device of a story within a story made the characters of the framing story (Alexis and Ed) paper characters who were vital only to get the story going. You knew immediately what would happen to them in the end.
However, the descriptions of Crete, especially after having just visited there, were rich and the author obviously knows her history. There are a lot of historical events packed in the book. I just so wished I cared.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very compelling book about an actual island off Greece where Lepers were sent away from their families and how they created their own community and lifestyle. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Starry Eye Designs
A most amazing and engrossing story. Well-written and hard to put down. I would highly recommend it!Published 13 days ago by Carrie Pruckler
Very interesting setting and topic. Great character development. Loved it!Published 13 days ago by Scol14
I've read and re-read this book several times including during a recent holiday to Spinalonga - Victoria is an amazing story writer, her mix of fact and fiction gives her stories a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
In some ways it is s story for all time about our prejudices against people who are different they we are, people with disabilities and the suffering we inflict on them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Anne Mahin
A really good can't put down book was recommended to me by friend.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Wanted to read this book for an upcoming trip to Greece. Although I won't be going to Crete on this trip, I enjoyed this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CAROLYN
Good book! I learned something about that era as well as leprosy.Published 2 months ago by Cindy Wimberly