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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
This is my first Victoria Hislop novel, and I will read more! The story takes place in Crete and a small island off of Crete where persons afflicted with leprosy are sent. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Carole A. Reedy
Very interesting, with real characters. The historique of the island is so well de scribes.Published 16 days ago by Alain Carfantan
One of the best books I have ever read. This was my second time reading it, I rad it some years ago and enjoyed it just as much the second time round.Published 17 days ago by Gale Philip
What an incredible book. I could not put it down! I absolutely fell in love with the characters. This is a must read book!Published 18 days ago by N. Korn
Not the best-written novel I have read. But the story is very fascinatig and the understanding it provides into a life I would never had had any access to was well worth the time. Read morePublished 19 days ago by michal
First I've watched the serial and after I read the book. It's one of the most touching history that I ever pass through. I even go to visit Spinaloga after it...Published 19 days ago by papouli