Author: Victoria Hislop
Publish Date: July 12, 2012
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
- You're an armchair traveler.
From Goodreads.com: "Thessaloniki, Greece, 1917: As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city where Christians, Jews, and Muslims live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will forever change this place and its people. Five years later, as the Turkish army pushes west through Asia Minor, young Katerina loses her mother in the crowd of refugees clambering for boats to Greece. Landing in Thessaloniki's harbor, she is at the mercy of strangers in an unknown city. For the next eighty years, the lives of Dimitri and Katerina will be entwined with each other and--through Nazi occupation, civil war, persecution, and economic collapse--with the story of their homeland.
Thessaloniki, Greece, 2007: A young Anglo-Greek hears his grandparents' remarkable story for the first time and understands he has a decision to make. For decades, Dimitri and Katerina have looked after the treasures of those who have been forced from their beloved city. Should he stay and become their new custodian?"
My Two Cents:
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the setting: Thessaloniki, a place that I have not read a lot about. It seems like a really interesting place. When the book opens, it's a city where Christians, Muslims and Jews can live side-by-side with absolutely no issue. Everyone isn't really worried about their differences. The story follows Dimitri and Katerina, two people who come from very different backgrounds. I loved the historical backdrop of their story; it was definitely interesting.
This book covers a lot of ground. A lot of focus is put on Dimitri and Katerina as young people and then the book seems to move faster and faster as the years go on. It was a little uneven to me and I almost wish that Hislop had chosen to focus more on a couple events in Dimitri and Katerina's lives instead of trying to cover so much in this one book. I loved the detail in the beginning of the book. Dimitri's family was very interesting and I loved seeing where he came from and why his family was the way that it was. I loved Katerina's story as a young girl and how she ended up coming to Thessaloniki. The rest of the book felt very rushed. I think it can be difficult to cover so much ground in one story. I kept wishing for the book to stay in one spot for just a little bit longer. Also, because the book was going so quickly, it was really sort of difficult to keep track of which point in time the story was talking about. Sometimes you wouldn't find any sort of indication of a date until the end of the chapter!
On the other hand, I think it's always a good sign when you want a book to go a little slower. I definitely liked the story. There's a hint of fate that makes the story really interesting. You really do get a good sense of the characters and begin to care for them a lot. I would love to read more by Hislop in the future as there is definitely the potential for some great writing there.
Bottom line: There is good writing here but the story goes just a little too quickly.
Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Tuesday, July 10th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, July 11th: Bibliosue
Monday, July 16th: A Library of My Own
Wednesday, July 18th: BookNAround
Thursday, July 19th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, July 20th: The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Tuesday, July 24th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, July 30th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, July 31st: Books in the Burbs
Wednesday, August 1st: My Bookshelf
Thursday, August 2nd: JulzReads
TBD: Twisting the Lens