With a laptop and hiking boots, surrounded by wild beauty and traces of ancient history, Jennifer plans to embrace her new life on a tiny Greek island to the full.
Bursting with Mediterranean flavour, An Octopus in my Ouzo takes you from surviving storms to serving drinks on the beach, dancing and walking and swimming you way around the island with an exuberant fisherman and an adorable canine companion - a funny, sad and inspiring journey to find that happiness lies in living small and thinking big.
An Octopus in my Ouzo by Jennifer Barclay is published in paperback by Summersdale on 14 April 2016.
Regular readers of Random Things will know that I love Greece and all things Greek. I've been lucky enough to visit Greece twice a year for the last fifteen years and intend to keep doing so. There's nothing quite like that first breath of warm air breathed in as you step from the plane; that first cup of Greek coffee; that first toe in the sea, and waking up every morning to blue skies and the sound of the waves breaking on the beach.
I've often wondered what it would be like to stay, and not return home to grey, cloudy Gainsborough. To eat breakfast on the patio, looking out at the olive trees and listening to the mopeds pud pudding along the road. But, like most tourists, I pack my bags at the end of my two weeks and I know that it's just a dream.
Jennifer Barclay had that dream too, but she did something about it and is now living on the tiny island of Tilos, all year round; winter and summer. An Octopus in my Ouzo is her story, and it's brilliantly written. She's funny, and honest and obviously loving her life, and I am jealous!
Jennifer Barclay really has embraced the Greek way of life. She lives in a tiny island where everyone knows everyone else. She's learnt the incredibly difficult Greek language, she's a friend to her neighbours, she's become a local.
There are some wonderful characters in this book, and the author has a real gift for bringing them to life, so that the reader becomes as fond as them as Jennifer clearly is. She creates an incredible sense of place as the reader accompanies her on her walks around the island, goes swimming with her and takes a trip with the local fisherman.
An Octopus in my Ouzo is a complete joy to read, and whilst it is full of laughter and sunshine and warm friendly locals, there is also heartache along the way.
A gorgeous read, for anyone who already loves Greece, and also for those who have not yet taken advantage of the wonderful hospitality that the Greeks are famous for.
My thanks to the author, and the publisher who sent my copy for review.
Jennifer Barclay grew up in the north of England in a village on the edge of the Pennines; she left for Greece after university, lived in Canada and France and the south coast of England before moving to a Greek island.
She works with books as an editor and agent and writes for newspapers and magazines. She has previously written Meeting Mr Kim and Falling in Honey, and her blog about daily life is at:
Follow her on Twitter @JenBarclayBooks