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The Island

The Island

by VictoriaHislop (Author)

Synopsis

The Island, the acclaimed million-copy No.1 bestseller and winner of Richard & Judy's Summer Read 2006 from Victoria Hislop, is a dramatic tale of four generations, rent by war, illicit love, violence and leprosy, from the thirties, through the war, to the present day. ***A beautiful 10th anniversary paperback edition that includes a new essay by Victoria Hislop on the impact of this million-copy bestseller.*** On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more. Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip...

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 496
Publisher: Headline Review
Published: 10 Apr 2006

ISBN 10: 0755309510
ISBN 13: 9780755309511
Book Overview: The acclaimed million-copy number one bestseller
Prizes: Winner of British Book Awards: Newcomer of the Year 2007. Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Book of the Year 2007.

Media Reviews
'Adding depth and colour to the story is the description of Cretan life... in particular, the vividly detailed account of life on Spinalonga... It is one of the achievements of this thoughtful novel that it presents the lives of the island's inhabitants with such empathy. The result is a fascinating work that combines a moving love story witha plea for more understanding about this most cruel of diseases' * The Times *
At last - a beach book with a heart... Meticulous research into Cretan culture...packed with family sagas, doomed love affairs, devastating secrets... She also forces us to reflect on illness, both the nasty, narrow-mindedness of the healthy and the spirit of survival in the so-called unclean . Her message seems as relevant today as it would have been a century ago * Observer *
'This is a vivid, moving and absorbing tale, with its sensitive, realistic engagement with all the consequences of, and stigma attached to leprosy, elevating it beyond holiday literature' * Observer *
'War, tragedy and passion unfurl against a Mediterranean backdrop in this engrossing debut novel' You magazine * You magazine *
'Gently gripping tale' * Scotsman on Sunday *
'Brings dignity and tenderness to her novel' * Telegraph *
'A promising debut' Grazia magazine * Grazia *
'A page-turning tale that reminds us that love and life continue in even the most extraordinary of circumstances' Sunday Express * Sunday Express *
'Hislop's deep research, imagination and patent love of Crete creates a convincing portrait of times on the island... A moving and absorbing holiday read' * Evening Standard *
'Passionately engaged with its subject...the author has meticulously researched her fascinating background and medical facts' * The Sunday Times *
A moving and atmospheric tale * The Scotsman *
'Wonderful descriptions, strong characters and an intimate portrait of island existence' * Woman & Home *
'A page-turning tale...reminds us that love and life continue in even the most extraordinary of circumstances' * Sunday Express *
Hislop's deep research, imagination and patent love of Crete creates a convincing portrait of times on the island. She writes evocatively of the minutiae of traditional life... She...manages to milk the dramatic potential of each unexpected twist and broken engagement, of the ruined and resurrected lives of her characters... A moving and absorbing holiday read that pulls at the heart strings * Evening Standard *
'The story of life on Spinalonga, the lepers' island, is gripping and carries real emotional impact. Victoria Hislop...brings dignity and tenderness to her novel about lives blighted by leprosy' Telegraph * Telegraph *
'A heartrending tale of love, loss and passion' * Good Book Guide *
'A beautiful tale of enduring love and unthinking prejudice' * Express *
'A must-have on every intelligent holiday-maker's beach towel' * Books Quarterly *
Author Bio

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 in hardback and one of the biggest selling books of 2016.