'Victoria Hislop's view of history in her novels is, like the writer herself, a compassionate and generous one' Scotsman
The gripping new novel by Sunday Times Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop 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.
Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.
Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.
In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.
Eventually 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 can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.
This powerful new novel from Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop 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.
Victoria Hislop. Discover for yourself why 10 million readers worldwide love her books.
'Hislop's passionate love of the country breathes from every page' Daily Mail on Cartes Postales from Greece
'Fascinating and moving . . . Hislop writes unforgettably about Cyprus and its people' The Times on The Sunrise
'Sweeping, magnificently detailed and ambitious' The Sunday Times on The Thread
'Meticulously researched historical narrative and imaginative storytelling' Telegraph on The Return
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.
Her affection for the Mediterranean 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. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014.
Victoria Hislop's latest book, Cartes Postales from Greece, is fiction illustrated with photographs. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and one of the biggest-selling books of 2016.