Monday 16 January 2023

Hislop, Victoria "Maria's Island"

Hislop, Victoria "Maria's Island" - 2021

If you've read "The Island" and its follow-up, "One August Night", you might want to consider this. Or, if you have children who like to read.

This is Maria's story, the girl growing up in the village near the Spinalonga, the Greek island where they would send people with leprosy before they found a cure.

Not only had Victoria Hislop retold the story in such a lovely way that it will be perfectly understood by children, she also found a wonderful illustrator, Gill Smith, who brings the people and the island to life. I have been to Spinalonga a long time before the books were written, and reading her books takes me back to this beautiful little place. It is just as described by this brilliant author.

From the back cover:

"A dramatic and moving story set in the same world as the international bestseller The Island from the celebrated novelist Victoria Hislop.

The absorbing story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece's former leper colony - is told to us by Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version of The Island. She tells us of the ancient and misunderstood disease of leprosy, exploring the themes of stigma, shame and the treatment of those who are different, which are as relevant for children as adults.

Gill Smith's rich, full-colour illustrations will transport the reader to the timeless and beautiful Greek landscape and Mediterranean seascape.


  1. I haven't read any of Hislop's books, though I've seen them around.

    1. I think you would love them, Lark, I hope I can persuade you to do pick one up. They are all great.

  2. Replies
    1. The book is full of similar illustrations, Lectrice. Even if you're not interested in the story (though it is a great one), the book is worth it just for the pictures alone.