Oh Good Grapes I apologize for the fact that I forgot to mention I'd be reading Victoria Hislop's The Island in July! Anyway, what a tale! I spent the last day of my Mexican beach vacation and ALL of the Independence Day weekend stuck in this book. It's so hard to write these reviews and not give anything away, but essentially it's a story about truths, love of family and the underlying message that good will always triumph over evil, no matter the circumstances.
The Island starts off a bit slow, with a really brief 'Part One' in which we are introduced to Alexis - a young woman curious to understand the history of her family, a history her mother has pretty much nailed shut and refused to discuss as Alexis grew up. Alexis sees this mystery as an obstacle in her struggle to find herself and grow into the woman her body has become. While planning a trip to her mother's homeland of Crete, Alexis comes across the name of a woman who is the key to unlocking the story of her family and it's in Crete, where she meets this woman, that the story of her family three generations ago begins and captivates you until the very end.
What Alexis learns is that she has a family history rooted in shame, disease and disgrace, but throughout the whole unraveling of the truth behind her mother's mystery, the overwhelming theme of love and good over evil presides.
There. I've tried to give you a glimpse of what you'd encounter in this book while not revealing anything about the main characters in the book. What you'll learn is that Alexis is only present in the beginning and the end and that this is really a story about forgiveness and acceptance. This book brought me to tears at some points but at the same time was so wonderfully and beautifully written that I couldn't help but lose myself in it and wish it not to end.
PS - Over the weekend I started my first romance novel! You know, the trashy beach reads of our mothers' era? I am currently reading Days of Summer by Jill Barnett. I am more than half way through and totally hooked on this plot. I'd say it's about a love triangle but it's more accurate if you drew an hectogram, connected all the possible dots you could, and called that your love story. It's wild, it's dramatic, it's sentimental and it's totally what I'll be writing about later this month! Get yourself a copy!