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The Island by Victoria Hislop
  

The Island

Historical Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   Family Drama   If You Like...You'll Love   Romantic Fiction   eBook Favourites   

RRP £8.99

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A 2013 World Book Night selection.

Winner of Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007.
Something a bit different, a bit special. A well-researched family history which takes the present day characters back to Crete and the horrors of leprosy. From 1939 to today we follow a tragic and eventful story with believable characters and a believable storyline. I really enjoyed it. Incidentally she is Ian Hislop’s wife.

Similar this month: Joseph Boyden, Rachel Hore.

Comparison: Ian McEwan, Michelle Paver, Khaled Hosseini.

If you like Victoria Hislop you might also like to read books by Zadie Jones, Lucinda Riley and Tracy Chevalier.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

The Island by Victoria Hislop

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 Fortini, 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...

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 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

'Passionately engaged with its subject...the author has meticulously researched her fascinating background and medical facts'
The Sunday Times The Sunday Times

'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

'Wonderful descriptions, strong characters and an intimate portrait of island existence'
Woman

& Home Woman & Home 'A moving and atmospheric tale
The Scotsman 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 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

About the Author

Victoria Hislop

Victoria Hislop was our Guest Editor in November 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Victoria Hislop read English at Oxford, and worked in publishing, PR and as a journalist before becoming a novelist. She is married with two children. Her first novel, The Island, held the Number One slot in the Sunday Times paperback chart for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. Victoria acted as script consultant on a 26-part TV adaptation in Greece, which achieved record ratings for Greek television. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007, and her second novel, The Return, was also a Number One bestseller. The Thread spent nine weeks in the Sunday Times hardback chart, and was widely acclaimed. Her books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Victoria also writes short stories and her first collection, One Cretan Evening, is available as an ebook.

Author photo © Angus Muir

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Book Info

Publication date

10th April 2006

Author

Victoria Hislop

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Author's Website

www.victoriahislop.com/

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Publisher

Headline Book Publishing Ltd

Format

Paperback (b Format)
496 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Family Drama
If You Like...You'll Love
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780755309511

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