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    The Island (Review) (Paperback) By (author) Victoria Hislop

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    DescriptionThe million-copy number one bestseller On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more. Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip...


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Island

    Title
    The Island
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Victoria Hislop
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 496
    Width: 115 mm
    Height: 177 mm
    Thickness: 32 mm
    Weight: 260 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780755329649
    ISBN 10: 0755329643
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: GEN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F1.1
    BIC subject category V2: FA
    Libri: ENGL3010, ENGM1010
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21110
    BISAC V2.8: FIC000000
    Libri: KRET3095
    Thema V1.0: FBA
    Publisher
    Headline Publishing Group
    Imprint name
    HEADLINE REVIEW
    Publication date
    10 April 2006
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Victoria Hislop is a writer and journalist. She writes travel features for the Sunday Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday and a number of magazines. She also writes regular features on education for the Daily Telegraph, and celebrity profiles for Woman & Home. Victoria lives in Kent with her husband, Ian Hislop, and their two children.
    Review quote
    'Hislop carefully evokes the lives of Cretans between the wars and during German occupation, but most commendable is her compassionate portrayal of the outcasts' Guardian Guardian 'Hislop is an exceptional writer with a strong voice who completely deserves rich success with this debut... Beautifully balanced, vivid and atmospheric prose' Newbury Weekly News Newbury Weekly News 'War, tragedy and passion unfurl against a Mediterranean backdrop in this engrossing debut novel' You magazine You magazine 'Wonderful descriptions, strong characters and an intimate portrait of island existence' Woman & Home Woman & Home 'Passionately engaged with its subject...the author has meticulously researched her fascinating background and medical facts' The Sunday Times The Sunday Times 'A page-turning tale that reminds us that love and life continue in even the most extraordinary of circumstances' Sunday Express Sunday Express 'Hislop's deep research, imagination and patent love of Crete creates a convincing portrait of times on the island. She writes evocatively of the minutiae of traditional life... She...manages to milk the dramatic potential of each unexpected twist and broken engagement, of the ruined and resurrected lives of her characters... A moving and absorbing holiday read that pulls at the heart strings' Evening Standard Evening Standard 'At last - a beach book with a heart... Meticulous research into Cretan culture...packed with family sagas, doomed love affairs, devastating secrets... She also forces us to reflect on illness, both the nasty, narrow-mindedness of the healthy and the spirit of survival in the so-called "unclean". Her message seems as relevant today as it would have been a century ago' Observer Observer 'A moving and atmospheric tale' The Scotsman The Scotsman 'A promising debut' Grazia magazine Grazia
    Review text
    A young Englishwoman discovers her family's secret links to a Cretan leper colony, in an unusually humane saga.A bestseller in the U.K., British author Hislop's debut pays affecting tribute to the victims of leprosy and those who helped them. Alexis's mother Sofia has never discussed her family background, but when Alexis plans a trip to Crete with her decreasingly appealing boyfriend Ed, Sofia gives her an introduction to old family friend, Fortini, in the village of Plaka, across from Spinalonga Island, for years a leper colony, but now deserted. Fortini, with Sofia's permission, begins to narrate the Petrakis family story, starting with Alexis's grandmother Eleni in 1939, a saintly, married schoolteacher who developed leprosy, moved to Spinalonga and died there, leaving behind her husband and two daughters, Anna and Maria. Willful Anna marries rich Andreas but flirts with his sexier cousin Manoli, who falls in love with good-natured Maria. Their wedding plans are shattered when Maria realizes she too is infected with leprosy and must go to the island. Under the treatment of kind Dr. Kyritsis, Maria is given drugs, and eventually she and the other sufferers are healed and the colony is closed. Anna, meanwhile, has had an affair with Manoli and given birth to Sofia. On the night of Maria's return to Plaka, Andreas discovers the affair and shoots Anna. Eventually, Maria marries Kyritsis and they bring up Sofia, not revealing until very late her true parentage. Sofia takes the news badly, moves away and lives a life of shame and guilt for the pain she caused. Now she and Alexis are reunited in Plaka and Ed is given his marching orders. Mediocre fiction is redeemed by considerable empathy in this serious but patchy summer read. (Kirkus Reviews)