Hislop, Victoria "Those Who Are Loved" - 2019
I have read a few books by Victoria Hislop and also quite a few about Greece. Next to those by the same author, "Modern Greece" by C.M. Woodhouse is probably the best if you want information about (especially the modern) the history of this interesting country. Victoria Hislop also recommends this book in her list of "Suggested Reading".
Victoria Hislop's stories about life in Greece are so informative and gripping, no wonder the Greek granted her honorary Greek citizenship for promoting modern Greek history and culture. Definitely deserved.
While we have learned i.a. about the history of Greece during the Ottoman Empire, this is a story about Greece during and after WWII. A lot of people always assume that with the end of that awful war, on VE Day, there was peace everywhere in the world except for the Pacific region. But it carried on in Europe in many areas. Like here in Greece where they felt the wounds of what was started during the occupation even more when it came to starting fresh. The country was just as divided as Germany, albeit in a different way.
In this book, we meet a normal family who has different opinions on politics. Sounds familiar? Yes, it happens all the time. There are people who are willing to fight for the freedom of their country, others who don't see a problem where there is a huge one. If this kind of different people are in one family, it can cause a lot of heartbreak and chaos.
As usual, Victoria Hislop manages to describe the different individuals, their feelings and their beliefs true to detail and possible to empathise with.
While searching for the places where this book takes place (mainly Athens and the prison islands Makronisos and Trikeri), I found an interesting website/blog about different books and their locations. Have a look here. I thought it might show some pictures but I quite liked that at least we can see where exactly the places are.
I can't wait for Victoria Hislop's next book.
From the back cover:
"Athens 1941. Nazi forces occupy Greece … and a nation falls apart.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family polarised in its political views. The Nazi occupation only deepens the faultlines between those she loves while it reduces Greece to destitution.
In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army to fight for her beliefs. Ultimately imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.
As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political are entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.
Already a Number one bestseller, this gripping new novel sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Greece’s past and weaves it into the epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life."