Sunday 29 November 2020

One August Night by Victoria Hislop @VicHislop @HeadlineFiction @headlinepg #OneAugustNight #BookReview


25th August 1957. The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences.

When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the people of Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever coloured with tragedy.

In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.

Number one bestselling author Victoria Hislop returns to the world and characters she created in The Island - the award-winning novel that remains one of the biggest selling reading group novels of the century. It is finally time to be reunited with Anna, Maria, Manolis and Andreas in the weeks leading up to the evacuation of the island... and beyond.

One August Night by Victoria Hislop was published by Headline on 29 October 2020 and is the sequel to the multi-million-copy best seller, The Island. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

This review was originally published in the Daily Express

Set in August 1957 and taking place on the island Crete and mainland Greece, the story begins as a cure for leprosy has been found. The leper colony on Spinalonga island, just off the coast of the village of Plake in Crete is closed and the inhabitants return to their homes.

A huge celebration is planned in Plaka, and despite the stigma still attached to leprosy, many of the ex-patients are being welcomed home. One of these is Maria. Mara’s sister Anna has been worried about her return, she is concerned that her secrets will be uncovered, and she becomes reckless in her actions. 

On the night of the celebration, a moment of violence devastates the village. Manolis, the man who had been engaged to Maria before she left is left heartbroken by the events and flees the village for the mainland.

Hislop expertly portays the warmth of Greece and its people, she delves into the long and complicated history of this fascinating country whilst delivering a family saga to be devoured. 
As Manolis starts a new life away from his family and friends, he discovers people who become more like family than he’s ever experienced before, yet Anna and Maria and the people of Plaka are never far from his thoughts.

Combining the sleepy small island vibe with the hustle and bustle of the mainland cities, this is a beautifully written story that will enchant the reader.

Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. 
It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. The Island has sold over 1.2million copies in the UK and more than 5 million worldwide.Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book Award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set short story collection, The Last Dance and Other Stories. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014. Victoria’s most recent book, Cartes Postales from Greece was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and one of the Top Ten biggest selling paperbacks of 2017. Her novels have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

Twitter @VicHislop

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