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Monday, 10 June 2019

#BookReview #20booksofsummer Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop



The good vibes for reading continues and I've now managed to read Book 4 for my #20booksofsummer challenge - and it's another one from my actual original list! And one from the 'large' list too! And it wasn't as scary or daunting as I feared it would be!  I just hope they're all going to be as good as this one!!



ABOUT THE BOOK

Those Who Are Loved is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.

Themis is part of a family bitterly divided by politics and, as a young woman, her fury with those who have collaborated with the Nazis, drives her to fight for the communists. She is eventually imprisoned on the notorious islands of exile, Makronisos and Trikeri, and has to make a life or death decision. She is proud of having fought, but for the rest of her life is haunted by some of her actions. Forty years after the end of the civil war, she finally achieves catharsis.

Victoria Hislop sheds light on the complexity of Greece’s traumatic past and weaves it into the dynamic tale of a woman who is both hero and villain, and her lifelong fight for justice.


Published by Headline Publishing Group
480 pages

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £13.58

hive.co.uk  £15.85

whsmith  £14.00


MY REVIEW

An epic historical story that had me totally captivated and in awe of the family and the stories they had to tell of their time in Greece during and after World War II. I was totally unaware of the Greek history before, during and after the war and it was a powerful way to tell the story through the eyes of a family who were living through it.

At the centre of the story is Themis who was a normal woman but lived an extraordinary life. She is looking back on her life and relaying the years that took their toll on all of them. She came from a large Greek family and circumstances meant her grandmother brought her and her siblings up and she allowed them to be their own people but that tore them apart as they all had different political views, much like the country who were torn between support for the Germans or the Allies.

Her life saw her live through the devastation when famine ravaged her homeland, and how desperate times led to desperate measures. She witnessed such devastation close to home that it inpsired her to be very proactive in trying to do whatever she could to help, even to the point of joining the communist army to fight for her people.

She witnesses and is subjected to such horrific treatment when her unit is captured that your heart just goes out to all of them women who were imprisoned, but her faith never faltered and she sets out to right wrongs when she is eventually freed as her only wish is to do the right thing.

I loved how quickly I became caught up in the lives of these people due to the wonderful way that the story is told. Despite being a large book it never felt that way when reading and there was always something going on to keep you fully engaged and often horrified by what people were having to endure. The spirit of people, especially Themis, never fails to amaze and I was in awe of her and the story she had to tell her relatives. Wonderful book!

★★★★★

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