Read The Island by Victoria Hislop Online


The million-copy number one bestsellerOn 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 tThe million-copy number one bestsellerOn 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......

Title : The Island
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780755329649
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 473 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Island Reviews

  • Tara Verdi
    2019-03-15 10:37

    The story line of this book is pretty good... but it is the most poorly written book I've read in awhile. She explains things - emotions, plot lines - to a level where she's beating you over the head with it and every sentence has about three adjectives too many. You'll want to finish it to find out what happens, but her writing style will drive you nuts while you do.

  • Tea Jovanović
    2019-03-23 08:52

    Još jedna od meni dražih uredničkih kupovina... Nesvakidašnja knjiga, tema o kojoj ranije ništa nismo znali, a sada zahvaljujući ovoj knjizi i seriji koja je prikazivana prošle godine i mi nešto više znamo o tom periodu iz grčke istorije...Nažalost, u Srbiji knjiga nije odmah "zaživela" zbog neadekvatnih korica (koje nisu bile moj izbor, promenjene su za drugo izdanje), dok je u Hrvatskoj odmah postala hit... Ono što je meni kao uredniku uvek najdraže jeste to da je priča o njoj kružila od usta do usta i da je zaživela na usmenu preporuku...Bila je ljuta borba da ne kažem "tuča" između tri izdavača oko ove knjige... :)Po objavljivanju knjige Viktorija i ja smo se upoznale i sprijateljile... Ona je jedna divna i topla osoba i već godinama radim na tome da je dovedem u Srbiju da je i naši čitaoci upoznaju... I verujem da ću u tome uspeti (i sama Viktorija je svesna koliko sam energična i uporna)... Moram još nešto da kažem za Viktoriju... Tokom godina upoznala sam mnoge pisce (i velike i male), i često posle tog uživo upoznavanja više ne razmenite s autorom nijednu reč... A Viktorija je i tu posebna... Kad smo se vratile sa Frankfurtskog sajma knjiga i Ivana Kuzmanović (koja je zajedno sa mnom upoznala Viktoriju) i ja dobile smo od Viktorije imejl u kome izražava zadovoljstvo što nas je upoznala...Evo vam i vest iz prve ruke... Upravo mi je stigao tekst njene nove knjige "Nit", na poslednje uredničko čitanje... I bože zdravlja ide sledeće nedelje u štampu...Viktorijin novi izdavač u Srbiji je Čarobna knjiga... pratite njihov sajt da vidite kada će knjiga tačno izaći iz štampe... A ja se narednih dana "skidam" s pisanja prikaza da bismo ispoštovali rokove :)

  • Fiona
    2019-03-24 08:30

    I had great hopes that this would be a good book.But life can be disappointing at times. This was one of the worst written books I have read in a long time. Chunks of unnecessarty exposition, character motivations eplained to the nth degree, dialogue avoided like...well, like it was leprosy.If you like your characters spoon fed to you, and every meaningful scene ducked (I mean, why didn't we get to see the last evening she and her husband had together? What exactly did they say?), well, this is the book for you.The thought that people believe this is good writing makes me shudder. There was the same sort of hype about Captain Corelli, but at least De Bernieres knows how to write.

  • K
    2019-02-27 03:42

    "You must pay the rent!" the evil villain roared, twirling his diabolical mustache. He was her landlord, and he was an impatient man."But I can't pay the rent!" swooned the beautiful, hapless heroine. She was his tenant. Her breathtaking beauty was matched only by her saintliness. She was always being taken advantage of by the wicked people around her, yet she was committed to remaining good."You must pay the rent!""But I can't pay the rent!""I'll pay the rent!" shouted the mysterious stranger. He was known for rescuing damsels in distress. Everyone in the little town respected him, because he was special. He immediately felt passionate toward the heroine, although they'd never met."My hero," swooned the heroine.If this is your idea of a well-written story then you may very well like this book, which read more or less this way for 474 pages. "The Island" opens with Alexis, taking a trip to Crete with her boyfriend of five years. Ed, the boyfriend, comes across as a total jerk; for some reason, though, Alexis has remained in the relationship and is undecided about whether to end it. Before her vacation, Alexis is instructed by her mother, Sofia, to deliver a letter to Sofia's old friend Fotini whom Alexis conveniently bumps into. The letter instructs Fotini to reveal the details of Sofia's past to Alexis, something Sofia has found impossible to do.Fotini's narrative then begins with Eleni, Alexis's great-grandmother, exiled to the island of Spinalonga when she is found to be leprous. After some time spent at the leper colony Eleni dies, and we read about Eleni's two daughters -- Anna, headstrong, impulsive, selfish, and beautiful, and Maria, dutiful and saintly. Anna rejects her family, marries a rich man whom she doesn't love, has an affair with his first cousin (who conveniently resembles him), and gives birth to a daughter, Sofia. Maria, the good daughter, devotedly cares for their aging father until she, too, is found leprous and is exiled to Spinalonga. Maria is cured, though, and returns to her hometown. Alas, Anna's husband discovers Anna's affair and kills her, and Maria, who has now found true love, feels she must sacrifice herself to care for their father. But it all works out in the end -- Maria's beloved moves to her hometown to marry her, and they adopt Sofia. At eighteen, Sofia has a freak attack when she learns the story of her origins and leaves Crete for England, marrying and giving birth to Alexis. I think what really killed this book for me, more than the clicheed plot twists and cardboard characters, was the writing style. Hislop continually felt a need to point out the obvious, used far too much exposition and far too little dialogue, and seemed to embrace a "tell don't show" writing policy. The unusual idea of writing about a leper colony was the book's one redeeming feature in my opinion, but if that appeals to you, read Moloka'i instead -- it wasn't amazing, but it was way better than 474 pages of "You must pay the rent!"

  • Lance Greenfield
    2019-02-28 08:43

    The background to this story is so well researched that you feel as if it is a truthful account of events surrounding the lives of those suffering from leprosy in Crete during the Second World War, and their families and friends. There is love and tragedy, betrayal and loyalty, deceit and courage.Thankfully, both medicinal science and the attitude of society to serious illness have made massive advances since those days.Once you have started reading this book, you will become captivated, and will have your nose in it at every opportunity, until you reach the last page. I would therefore advise you to put it at the top of you holiday reading list.

  • Heidi
    2019-03-11 06:40

    I have never written a review or reccomendation before & i wont tell the story line because there are many revews here that have already done that, not to mention the blurb. Instead i will tell you why it s one of my all time favourites (another being Birds Without Wings by Louis de Berniere) & why I recommend it to anyone who will listen, even my husband who also loved it! So anyone who might give it a miss thinking its a chick-lit don't! it does have romance but it's much more than that. I chose the Island because I enjoy historical-fiction, i like to be transported to other places & times and the ruggedness of the Greek Islands appeal to me. The story is so well written that you can see the people and places vividly, submerging you into their world. I really felt for Maria and her father & spent much of te book with a sinking feeling in my stomach, thinking how can this poor girl have any more heartache ....... so keep some tissues near bye if you are the weepy sort. This book has left a lasting impression on me (& my husband) & on top of that I learned something about leprosy, previously (& rather ignorantly) assuming it to be a disease which was long gone!

  • Niki Lopez
    2019-03-05 04:45

    This book was awesome. I read it on my honeymoon, while I was laying on the beach, and I couldn't put it down. I read the whole thing in two days. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in European history. I learned a ton about leprosy and the stigma associated with the disease. I think we all know a bit about leprosy, but it was really enlightening about the overall topic, especially since it is still an epidemic in many third world countries. The female characters were also very interesting to me, because they were particularly strong and complex. This is a great book -- I enjoyed it completely.

  • Christie
    2019-03-10 09:53

    I have mixed feelings about this book. The primary subject matter of the book was well researched and very interesting and original - that of the fate of Leprosy sufferers in pre-war and wartime Greece. I found this aspect of the book very interesting, the experimental treatments, the descriptions of how they organised their lives on the island and set up a democracy, the emotions surrounding being forcibly taken away from your families and made to live in isolation. I didn't know a lot about leprosy before reading this book, to me it is a biblical illness which is slightly distasteful and I didn't realise that patients sometimes lived in these isolated communities for years before the disfigurement and death happened. I also liked reading about the undercurrents of class prejudice in the face of this. I quite liked the character of Maria, even though she was quite a passive character and I usually prefer more sparky female protagonists, she was characterised quite well. What I did not enjoy was the fact that I felt the author was trying to be a woman of all trades and ended up being a master of none. This book could have been a lot more but it walked the uneasy ground between epic saga and light beach read. The subject matter was too heavy for a beach read but the authors style and language was too clunky to make a decent novel. Some of the characters had absolutely no development during the course of the novel - Anna could have been a really fascinating individual with a little bit more care but instead she was stuck in some kind of morality narrative. I wanted to know more about what made her tick. A lot of the time the author didn't seem to know who was the main character of her novel either. And as what seems to be normal for books that try to link past and present, the present was drastically underdeveloped. Alexis and her dilemma over whether to dump her boyfriend or not was a bit of a non-starter and an absolutely useless plot device. Even her mother, Sofia seemed like a bit of an afterthought. Her story, which was who Sofia wanted to hear about after all, was rushed and not half as detailed. It was just stuck on to tie all the loose ends together. I think if you cut the beginning and end of the book, it would actually have made a more satisfying novel.

  • Anna
    2019-03-17 08:29

    Με το παρόν βιβλίο η Βικτόρια Χίσλοπ μας αγάπησε ως χώρα (έμαθε ελληνικά, ήρθε στη χώρα, πληρώνει ΕΝΦΙΑ για το σπίτι της στην Κρήτη, έκανε δουλειά με το MEGA και εξακολουθεί να μας αγαπάει - βέβαια μια Βρετανή θεωρεί λογικό να πληρώσει φόρο ιδιοκτησίας και στο MEGA την προσκυνούσαν για την τιμή που τους έκανε να τους δώσει το βιβλίο της - γενικά νομίζω ότι αντιμετωπίζεται με μεγάλο σεβασμό από όλο τον κόσμο και γι' αυτό εξακολουθεί να μας αγαπάει, άσε που κι εμείς μη γνωρίσουμε φιλέλληνα, τεμενάδες του κάνουμε - κλείνω κάπου εδώ την παρένθεση για να πω και δυο λόγια για το βιβλίο!)Το βιβλίο το είχα διαβάσει παράλληλα με το σίριαλ. Αυτό που μου έκανε ευχάριστη εντύπωση είναι η έρευνα της συγγραφέα για τα ιστορικά γεγονότα, όπου έγραψε την αλήθεια - όπως την αντιλήφθηκε η ίδια, ίσως οι γνώστες της ιστορίας να έχετε αντιρρήσεις - χωρίς "ποιητική αδεία" και χωρίς να αυτοσχεδιάσει, προσαρμοζόμενη μόνο σε αυτά που βοηθούσαν την εξέλιξη της ιστορίας. Μια ιστορία ανθρώπινη, για μια οικογένεια που τα μέλη της αγαπιόταν μεταξύ τους, αλλά χωρίστηκαν βίαια, δυο φορές μάλιστα. Η αρρώστια δεν είναι ο πρωταγωνιστής της υπόθεσης, όλα περιστρέφονται γύρω από την οικογένεια και τα μέλη της, τα οποία αντιμετωπίζουν την αρρώστια όπως θα μπορούσαν να αντιμετωπίζουν κάποιο άλλο συμβάν. Ιστορίες έρωτα, προδοσίας, αποχωρισμού, επανασύνδεσης, γεννήσεων, θανάτου, με φόντο την Ελούντα των μέσων του 20ού αιώνα. Πολύ καλή αφήγηση, μαγεύει τον αναγνώστη να παρακολουθήσει την ιστορία των γυναικών της οικογένειας, όπως την ακούει η Αλέξις από τη φίλη της γιαγιάς της! Προσωπικά (ως Θεσσαλονικιά) προτιμώ το Νήμα από το Νησί....

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-03-26 09:42

    I enjoyed this novel so much that halfway thru it I ordered Victoria Hislop's next book. The writing style is fantastic. The descriptions are eloquent without being pompous or overdone. The characters are like everyday people, if a bit exagerated. It starts with Alexis, a young woman trying to get to the bottom of her mother's strange and mysterious past while vacationing in Crete. I would like to note here that it is NOT like the "Forgotten Garden" for those of you that are not fond of time jumping. After a brief Part One in which readers meet Alexis and her mother Sofia, the entire novel until the very end is about Eleni (Alexis's great grandmother) and Eleni's daughters, Anna and Maria. Eleni is banished from her family and sent to Spinalonga, a leper colony, during pre world war II. While she makes the most of her situation and her disease, her husband and daughters deal with the loss of her and the girls especially deal with pre adolesence and the uncertainity of their futures. Anna is an awful character, the daughter that is evil and cruel and wants something for nothing. Maria cares for people as well as her father and has a heart of gold. Shortly after Eleni dies, Anna marries into a wealthy family and has all she has ever wanted, fine clothes, maids, and a life of money spending and idleness. Yet she wants more. She desires her husband's cousin, who has decided to marry Maria. Unfortunately, and much to Anna's glee, Maria contracts leprosy and must go live on Spinalonga. Is this a blessing in disguise? Readers will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Despite her hardships and disease, Maria outshines Anna in life and happiness. A tired but sometimes true moral is hidden within this story.. "Good things come to those that wait.." I really loved the way the author showed us what life on Spinalonga must have been like, that the people had hope and lived live to its fullest. She also addressed issues such as prejudicy against those that are different and how people's ignorance makes them act harshly and rashly towards others.

  • Asghar Abbas
    2019-03-25 10:39

    I always wanted to go to Greece in literature and now I have. Let me tell you, it was worth the trip in this story too. This book is like getting postcards from all the places you have never been to and now don't want to. For Home is gone and it is now in every one of those places you will never visit.Highly recommended.

  • Claudia
    2019-03-06 07:23

    Este foi o segundo livro de Victoria Hislop que li, depois de diversas meninas dos fóruns me terem persuadido a ler, especialmente a Vera Neves, afirmando ser ainda melhor que o A Arca. Mas uma vez tiveram razão. Antes de mais devo congratular a autora pelo seu exaustivao trabalho de pesquisa acerca da lepra. Todos nós já ouvimos falar da lepra, nem que tenha sido, como eu, na catequese e na leitura da Bíblia ou, se recordam do pai de um dos personagens de Braveheart, não me recordo agora o nome dele. No entanto o meu contato ou informação com esta doença não passava daí. Aqui além de toda a estória envolvente na A Ilha, apercebemo-nos de uma problemática relativamente recente e infelizmente, ainda ativa em diversos países do nosso planeta. Relativamente à narrativa, adorei as personagens, todas elas, inclusive Anna. Sempre tive, desde míuda, uma predileção especial pelos «maus da fita» e realmente Anna é a especiaria mais picante e mais garrida da história. A história de sua mãe e Maria, irmã, em tanto semelhante com exceção o final, fizeram-me suspirar e acender a luz perto das 4h da manhã para ler os capítulos finais. As escolhas de Sofia, especialmente as más escolhas tão habituais na adolescência/começo da idade adulta, recordam-me a mim nessa fase bem como algumas adolescentes que acompanho hoje em dia... sim estou a divagar. Relativamente às personagens masculinas deste livro, para mim passam apenas por personagens secundárias uma vez que todas as personagens femininas têm uma personalidade bastante mais relevante do que qualquer um deles, desde a doce, corajosa e sábia Eleni, a tranquila, ponderada mas sofredora Maria e claro, a imprudente, egoísta e impetuosa Anna. No fundo, as três faces de uma mulher no decorrer do seu crescimento. Aconselho a lerem até ao momento em que Fontini começa a contar a história familiar a Alexis, depois tentam parar... se conseguirem!

  • Laura
    2019-03-12 09:25

    I enjoyed the book - partly because the island that the story centers on was the view from our terrace during our honeymoon but also because of the unique topic of the story. It was a quick and enjoyable read though I think was weak in a few ways. As with many novels that combine the past and the present with the past being the focus, the scenes in the present were not as well written and lacked depth and development. I thought Alexis' struggle over her relationship with Ed was totally irrelevant and a superficial plot device. Similarly, Sofia was very under-developed and I thought the explanation for her decision to hide her past was thin - as a teenager she wanted to go out into the wider world, hoping to experience new, more modern cultures yet her reasons for hiding her past were all derived from the traditional nature of her Cretan culture? At the end I had developed no warmth or engagement with Alexis or Sofia or felt any real emotion at the change to their relationship.The story of Eleni and Giorgis and their daughters was far more engaging and was clearly given all of the author's attention and skill. My only criticism about this section of the book (which is the bulk of it really) is that there didn't seem to be any character development or progress through the course of the story. Eleni, Giorgis, Anna, and Maria all pretty much remain the same characters from start to finish.Nonetheless, a nice, easy read that illuminates, if fictionally, a fascinating bit of Greek history.

  • Ana
    2019-03-01 11:44

    Uma lindíssima história sobre mudança, resiliência, segundas oportunidades, segredos e claro, amor.A autora escreve de forma cativante e interessante sobre um tema pouco ou nada abordado em literatura: a Doença de Hanseníase, ou como é mais conhecida, lepra. Uma doença tão antiga, quanto estigmatizante.Adoro estes livros que para além do seu caráter lúdico têm sempre uma componente história e informativa.Altamente recomendável!

  • Ana
    2019-03-17 06:35

    Knjiga mi se svidjela, radnja me držala znatiželjnom od prve do zadnje stranice. Svidjela mi se snaga nekih ljubavnih prica, svidjeli su mi se likovi, iako neki možda nisu najbolje razrađeni. Ali moram priznati da se slažem s nekim komentarima koje sam pročitala, stil pisanja je poprilično jednostavan, u početku je to ok ali do kraja knjige malo dojadi. Sve u svemu, lijepa priča, spisateljica me ipak uspjela uvući u nju, uživala sam pa stoga pet zvjezdica.

  • Sheila
    2019-02-28 10:34

    Beautifully imagined, well-researched and evocatively told, Victoria Hislop’s The Island recreates a leper colony of the 1930s and follows its inmates and neighbors on the Island of Crete through the Second World War to the present day. The theme of searching for identity is well-served as the author follows characters whose identities have been stolen by disease—some losing their physical self-image, others half-destroyed mentally by loss of family and friends. The agony of ostracism, the fear of ever-present death and the struggle to create a life where life is already failing are made chillingly real. The kindness and cruelty of strangers threads the tale. And the modern-day story of a young woman searching for her own identity, seeking her past and her future, makes a pleasing wrapper.The writing changes point of view with unsettling fluidity; the reader’s certainty of characters’ innermost thoughts creating an intriguing contrast with the modern-day protagonist’s uncertainties about her mother and her lover. Side-stories, the flirtatious sister, the lost little boy, even soldiers in the war, all fold together creating a fine sense of people and place, a picture of quiet society still hiding in the warmth of Cretan sunshine and the dust of forgotten lanes. Secrets hurt, the past can’t be changed, but forgiveness and the choice to move forwards imbue the tale with a hopeful tone. Meanwhile the mystery of leprosy becomes something real that I’m glad to know more about.At 473 pages this is a long novel to be savored slowly, but it’s a fascinating tale leaving a lingering taste of sunshine and mystery.Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a friend of my mother’s in England.

  • Seamaiden
    2019-03-21 04:45

    I have watched the Greek series based on the book so I knew what was going on, but still I loved the book. I agree that there are many long descriptions but I don't think they make the book boring. I think they gave life to the book. I heard many people complaining about the author's language. I read the book in Greek but I don't think the English/original version could be bad. I liked the way Greece was described. It was a realistic portrait of Greece. It is obvious Hislop painted her book with vivid colors based on research.The subject is original, but I loved the fact the sickness itself wasn't the main event. The lives of Petrakis family was given in such a way that kept my interest. Sweet Maria was my favourite since the beginning. Having watched the series first, I could see the faces of the actors /actresses for each role and couldn't help but think how fitting they were. I felt awful for the father. this poor man had to endure everything during his life.I loved the book. it kept me up reading it for hours. it caught my interest and kept it through every chapter. the happy and sad moments were so mixed that didn't seem fake even for a moment. I really enjoyed the book. I am going to watch the series again, too. it is so unbelievably close to the book that I can't resist.

  • Lyn Elliott
    2019-03-05 06:49

    'A beach read with a heart' was one of the promo lines on the book's cover. It's true that the author writes about emotions of love and loss, but my emotions certainly weren't engaged by the downs and ups of the story, and it does seems to be more downs than ups. None of her characters truly comes alive, characters are bluntly and repetitively described rather than revealed or heard through their own voices in dialogue.Her writing style is uninspired. And, as others have noted, we didn't need the clumsy device of Alexis and Ed in Crete to tell the story of the family afflicted by leprosy over two generations.The story of the leper colony on Spinalongi was clearly what drove Hislop in writing this book and the most interesting thing about it.Perhaps it is why it was on best seller lists for so long. And no doubt the sales volume influenced the book industry panel that gave Hislop the best New Writer in the BritishNational Book awards in 2007.This was a book club choice.

  • Adrian
    2019-03-08 11:24

    A really enjoyable read, albeit out of my usual genres. That said being a real Hellenophile and having a number of Cretan friends, I was always going to enjoy it. I do not know the area described in the book at all well, my friends live nearer Rethymno, but I have flown in over Spinalonga many times and was aware of its history. The story was woven well into the history of both Crete and the Isle of Spinalonga. Would recommend to anyone with a love of Greece or Crete, or just looking for a genuinely good story well told. Καλά

  • Sarah
    2019-03-21 07:29

    21/1 - I think this book desperately wanted to be a non-fiction history book, but maybe Hislop was unable to find any stories from real residents of Spinalonga so was forced to write it with fictional ones. I was very interested in the story of the inhabitants of the island, the treatments used for leprosy before the cure was found, and what the eventual cure was, but Hislop's writing created a huge distance between me and all of her characters. My experience reading this reminded me of reading a dry history book, but it's full of characters I'm supposed to find sympathetic and I just didn't care about any of them and that was all down to Hislop's writing.1.5 would be a more accurate rating than two, but I try to save my one star ratings for the truly dreadful books that combine bad writing/plotting/characters/world building WITH editing problems. This book had no editing problems (that I could see), so I didn't feel justified in giving it a one despite how dry the writing was considering the fact that it should have been an emotional story featuring people being sent away from their families because of the diagnosis of leprosy. Despite all the tragic events that befell the Petrakis family only one scene could evoke any emotion from me - when Maria was leaving for Spinalonga - there was a slight chin quiver, then a sniff and that was it for the emotional reactions from me towards this book. I think I would have been better off reading a book on the actual history of the island, rather than this one. I think I might get out the trusty Wikipedia and read its articles on leprosy and Spinalonga.

  • Philip Lane
    2019-03-26 08:44

    I am afraid I really didn't get along with this book at all. It is fairly easy to read and has some interesting subject matter but I feel it takes a scatter gun approach, putting in a little bit of everything, and failing to hit any target. The book covers 70 years of Cretan history and 4 generations of a family. We get information on leprosy, the way it was treated, medically, socially and officially. Hislop includes a range of incidents that took place on and around Spinalonga, which appear to have come from newspaper reports of the time. One of these involves an inmate of Spinalonga being shot by a German soldier when trying to swim to the mainland. This incident is briefly given context after it is told but no indications of the issues or the character of the individual are given previously. I like my novels to be more integrated and feel Hislop is just cobbling together bits of flotsam and jetsam that she has come across in her research. Rather than tell a more restricted tale of life on Spinalonga she ranges wider and tries to develop a love triangle between two sisters and a local Lothario. The main characters of this central romance I found completely unbelievable, both in their attitudes which seemed to change constantly, and in their actions which just don't seem to fit in with family life on Crete. For example, is Anna jealous of her sister or not, and if so why? Also who was doing the cooking in the Vandoulakis household?Secrecy seems to be a major theme and the justification for extending the tale for two more generations, making the book too long and rather tedious. However the idea that the Vandoulakis family are unaware of the circumstances of the death of Anna's mother is very difficult to swallow. Eleni was the local primary teacher, was given a public send off when she was exiled to Spinalonga and her husband continued to be the only boatman making deliveries to the island. Similarly I couldn't believe that Sofia was not aware of who her parents really were, didn't she have contact with her grandparents and aunts?There were a number of other minor irritations in the use and spelling of Greek words as well as some dubious chronological placements. Were they really listening to Theodorakis in 1953? And September 1953 seemed to last for about 6 weeks.No, a promising subject rather mauled in my opinion. Hislop is obviously very popular but I won't be spending any more time reading her books. I found The Thread similarly disappointing.

  • Masha
    2019-02-23 10:40

    When I first read its reviews, I got a completely wrong impression of this book and was even reluctant to read it, expecting it to be a melodramatic account of a Mediterranean romance. Then a colleague of mine told me she had given it as a reading assignment to her class, so I thought there was more to it than met the eye. It is not only an intricate family saga of four generations, but also a faithful rendering of life in a rural Cretan community and on the isolated island of Spinalonga from the 1930s to the mid-20th century and even later in the 1960s. It is also a story about how prejudiced and ignorant the then society was against leprosy and lepers and how difficult it was later for the cured lepers to integrate into the society, which had been treating them as outcasts for so many years. What I liked most are the characters, their qualities, life challenges, and relationships. In many ways were Maria and Dr Nikolaos Kyritsis, Eleni and Giorgis Petrakis as well as Dr Christos Lapakis and Fotini heroic, but on the other hand, they were also completely human, sometimes feeling insecure, desperate, lonely, exhausted. It is the integrity of their character that always helped them to endure the hardships and traumas and to survive.

  • Laura
    2019-03-03 03:39

    I really liked the idea for this book, I found it really interesting, but I found the story poorly written. Set on a Greek Island, the excuse for the main character to go to the former leper colony was contrived, and didn't make much sense to me. Why her mother would have simply cut off contact with everyone she knew I didn't really understand; I didn't engage with any of the characters as I felt they had little substance behind them. They seemed to be very clear cut; one was 'good' and one was 'bad' which was too simplistic. Parts of the plot didn't make sense, eg. why the mother didn't question her paternal grandparents. The transformation of the leper colony from a crumbling dank village into a thriving community was described reasonably well. However I never really felt I was 'there' , unlike in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which I felt described life in Greece much better, and had much deeper characters. The prejudice about the disease was believable, and no doubt the author researched this accurately. This was a quick and easy read but I'm not sure I'd be inclined to read another novel of Hislop's.

  • Anastasia Ts.
    2019-03-17 11:53

    Ένα βιβλίο με πολλές πωλήσεις, αγαπητό στο αναγνωστικό κοινό για την πλοκή και την περιγραφή του κρητικού τοπίου. Γιατί μου άρεσε αυτό το βιβλίο; Καταπιάνεται με ένα ευαίσθητο θέμα της εποχής κ η συγγραφέας καταφέρνει να παρουσιάσει την ασθένεια αλλά και την καθημερινότητα της ζωής των λεπρών με σεβασμό στα δικαιώματά τους. Πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που θα βρει σε αυτό ο αναγνώστης θέματα που αφορούν την ιστορία, την πολιτική, την θέση της γυναίκας, το δικαίωμα στο σεξ. Όσον αφορά την δομή του βιβλίου χωρίζεται σε δύο μέρη: ξεκινά με την κόρη της Σοφίας, Αλέξις, που προσπαθεί να ανακαλύψει την άγνωστη ζωή της μητέρας της και συνεχίζει με την αφήγηση της ιστορίας της οικογένειας Πετράκη. Περιγραφική και λυρική με μέτρο η Hislop στην γραφή της. Ωραίο ανάγνωσμα για τις καλοκαιρινές ώρες!

  • Λίνα Θωμάρεη
    2019-03-06 04:46

    Πρέπει να ήταν υπέροχο βιβλίο... αλλά έκανα το λάθος και το διάβασα μετά την σειρά.. αφού με ξέρω γτ τα κάνω αυτά ??? Η σειρά σαφώς ήταν πιο καλή και από το βιβλίο... (για σας που έχετε διαβάσει το βιβλίο το ξέρω ότι μπορεί να διαφωνήσετε μαζί μου και καλά θα κάνετε) απλά δεν παίζει να έχω δει σειρά/ταινία και να διαβάσω μετά το βιβλίο και να μου αρέσει το 2ο καλύτερα από το 1ο....!!!Sorry Victoria αλλά 2 αστέρια από μένα ... και πολλά είναι :P

  • Julie Williams
    2019-03-08 05:27

    The Island is definitely on my ' best read books ' list. This is a beautifully written story with characters so convincing that I had to keep reminding myself that the book is in fact fiction. The book brought back fond memories of my trip to Crete a few years ago and I regret now not having visited Spinalonga. However if I do go back I will definitely make that boat trip.

  • Nefeli
    2019-03-18 07:49

    Μου άρεσε πολύ η ιστορία αλλά η πλοκή μερικές φορές εξελισσόταν υπερβολικά γρήγορα (σε κάποιο σημείο σε 2 σελίδες πέθαναν 3 άνθρωποι). Επίσης λίγο δραματικό για το γούστο μου αλλά εντάξει καλό ήταν.Είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο της Victoria Hislop που διαβάζω και αυτό που μου αρέσει στα βιβλία της είναι πόσο έχει ψάξει το θέμα για το οποίο γράφει.

  • Nora|KnyguDama
    2019-03-08 04:36

    Nors šią knygą tikriausiai dažniausiai aptikdavau nukainotą, su įvairiomis akcijomis, ji mano akies niekada nepatraukė. Tiksliau nepatraukė tas viršelis – nemielas, negražus ir neiškalbingas jis man atrodydavo. O juk pirmas knygos vertinimas ir yra būtent vizualus. Tačiau jau kuris laikas mane „persekiojo“ labai geri komentarai, rekomendacijos ir siūlymai perskaityti šią knygą. Kaip tyčia ji ramiausiai sau gulėjo mano mylimos bibliotekos lentynoje. Ir kodėl gi nepabandžius, pasvarsčiau. Pasvarsčiau, pasiėmiau, perskaičiau ir laiminga iki debesų buvau. Man labai labai labai patiko.Aleksis – jauna mergina apie savo praeitį ir šaknis nežinanti nieko. Tik iš lengvų motinos šnekų bei nuogirdų ji žino, jog mamos praeitis susijusi su paslaptimis, nusikaltimais ir neaiškia gėda. Mergina nenori gyventi nepažindama šeimos istorijos ir pagaliau gavusi mamos leidimą jo vyksta į Kretą išsiaiškinti tiesios. Būtent iš Kretos ir kilusi Aleksis šeima. Aleksis nukeliauja pas mamos draugę Fontini, kuri ir iškloja merginai visą tiesą. Savo pasakojimą ji pradeda nuo Aleksis prosenelės Elenos. Ji buvo pasišventusi mokytoja, be galo mylėjo vaikus, o visas miestas mylėjo ją. Ji turėjo gerą vyrą Georgijų bei dvi dukras - Aną ir Mariją. Nors beprotiškai graži, Ana jau nuo vaikystės buvo tėvų rūpestis – neklausė, nesitvarkė namuose, išnaudojo seserį. Tuo tarpu Marija buvo tikras angelas. Tačiau į laimingos šeimos namus pasibeldžia nelaimė – nuo vieno iš savo mokinių Elena užsikrečia raupsais. Pagal to laikmečio tvarką, visi sergantieji buvo ištremiami gyvenimui į Spinalongos salą, dar vadinamą gyvos mirties sala. Tad Elena ir berniukas buvo ten išplukdyti. Spinalongoje, nors ir visi gyventojai, sergantys gyvenimas vietoje nestovi – yra salos vadovas, kasmet vyksta rinkimai, vaikai eina į mokyklą. Elena ten pritampa greitai, o Georgijus lieka vienas su dukromis, kurios ir yra pagrindinės knygos veikėjos. Merginos auga, bręsta ir pamažu tampa jaunomis moterimis. Nors knygos anotacijoje kalbama daugiau apie Aleksis ir jos šaknų paieškas, išties visa knyga yra pasakojimas apie Aną ir Mariją. Ir nesinori daug visko jums čia pasakoti, mat knygoje yra daug netikėtumų, veiksmo, graudžių, jautrių vietų. Tikrai, keliose vietose net garsiai aiktelėjau, o kitose ir ašarą greit nubraukdavau. Pasakojama ir apie Antrą pasaulinį karą užklupusį Kretą bei raupsuotųjų salą, apie įvairius gydymo metodus, daug foninės informacijos apie Kretos maistą, buitį bei žinoma apie pačius raupsus. Knyga įtraukia nuo pat pradžių – nėra jokių varginančių įžangų ar neįdomių priešistorių. Autorė čiumpa jautį už ragų ir iškart skaitytoją panardina į intriguojančių įvykių sūkurį. Visi personažai labai skirtingi, labai įdomūs. Net ta pati blogietė Ana – man apie ją skaityti tikriausiai buvo įdomiausia. Aš mėgavausi kiekvienu puslapiu ir kaskart mane nustebindavo koks viską apverčiantis nutikimas. Nors iš “Salos“ daug ir nesitikėjau, tačiau esu tikra – tai bus knyga kurios ilgai nepamiršiu ir rekomenduosiu visiems kas klaus apie gerus, stiprius kūrinius. Ir patiks net tiems kas mėgsta istorinius romanus!

  • Cleo Bannister
    2019-02-24 03:39

    Alexis Fielding is on the brink of making the biggest decision of her life and almost as a distraction fixates on the mystery of her mother’s life, her childhood that she refused to talk about. All through her childhood Sofia had received letters with Greek stamps on intermittently though Alexis’s childhood but when she is visiting Greece with her long-standing boyfriend she tells her mother that she would visit the place where Sofia had grown up, Plaka and Sofia relented and gave her a letter to give to her old friend.The story that follows spans decades from before the Second World War and a good part of it is set on the leper colony on Spinalonga where sufferers of leprosy were sent, away from their friends and family to stop the spread of the disease. What I’d never realised before visiting Spinalonga and reading The Island, was that sufferers could and often did live for years, the trajectory of the disease not being predictable until the end which to be honest sounds pretty horrific.This is a saga of a story though, and has all the required elements of love, betrayal, secrets and at its heart family. The story swings backwards and forwards from the little village of Plaka where life is simple to the bigger towns where research was going on to find a cure for the dreadful disease, a search which was suspended when the war became the fight that the whole of Greece was focussed on.The story is told through Fontini’s retelling of the events spanning years to Alexis and the story centres around Maria Petrakis, a young teacher who may have caught Leprosy from one of her pupils. Maria was sent to Spinalonga along with the ten year old boy, leaving her father and her younger sister behind. But Spinalonga wasn’t the bleak place you might suppose. Continued pressure on the great and the good of Crete meant that those living there were able to make the place into a small community complete with market day and supported by twice weekly deliveries of goods from Plakka. With letters and regular visits from a doctor who was willing to take the risk of contracting leprosy the inhabitants get news from the world outside, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to put yourselves into the shoes of those who lived in the little houses on the island of their exile.            Victoria Hislop weaves a fantastic tale around a family based on the history of an island which must have held so many equally involved stories and so vivid was Maria’s story that I had to remind myself continually that this was a work of fiction but despite that, now many weeks after reading The Island Maria’s story lingers in my mind. For those of you who haven’t yet read this book I’m pleased to report that despite the subject matter the book comes to the perfect ending.

  • Susie
    2019-03-09 04:24

    I loved every minute of this book. So beautifully written - I just didn't want it to end. It started quite slowly, but I persevered and once I got into it I just couldn't put it down!The story is about a girl who wants to find out more about her family history, only to discover under the layers of secrecy from her mother a story of betrayal and pain, accented by so much love of those that held it all together and tried to build a life despite the pitfalls.The description of the places, both historical and present day, is as beautiful as the characters. It is definitely something I want to read again!