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The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

The Sunrise

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Having told the harrowing tale of the leper colony of Spinalonga in The Island and the history of Thessalonika in The Thread, Victoria Hislop returns to a Mediterranean island, Cyprus. Sunrise was the name of Famagusta's most luxurious hotel. It opened in 1972. We meet a bunch of people involved, from the owner to the beach boy attendant, Greek and Turkish Cypriots working harmoniously together. Then the war erupted in 1974 and we follow the plight of our characters still very central to the hotel. It is an extraordinary period and as with all conflict there are horrendous atrocities, there are survivors and there are those who profit from war. We mainly follow two families from opposing sides who come to love and rely upon each other in the deserted city. It's a powerful tale of families, hope, survival and courage. Fans of The Island will love it. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Click here to view the Reading Guide for this book.

If you like Victoria Hislop you might also like to read books by Khaled Hosseini, Belinda Alexandra and Lucinda Riley.

Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title.  You can read their comments below.

  • Sarah Musk - 'An exciting, interesting book about a dramatic time in Cypriot history. Constant tension throughout makes The Sunrise difficult to put down and hard to forget.' Read full review >
  • Berwyn Peet - 'Another great story from Victoria Hislop...One of the best books I've read this year.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Whish - 'A masterful imagining of the impact the invasion of Famagusta forty years ago had on local people. A story of family and kinship placed in adversity. Dramatic and moving.' Read full review >
  • Sandra Robinson –  'A story of love and loss set in Famagusta, Cyprus in the early 70s...A really fantastic read with brilliant characters. Highly recommend.' Read full review >
  • Alan Gee - 'For Victoria Hislop fans: highly recommended.  For readers with an interest in Cyprus history: recommended.  For everybody else who enjoys a decent read: go for it, you won’t be sorry.' Read full review >
  • Lisa Wallace - 'Victoria Hislop is a great story teller and once again does not disappoint in this saga, The Sunrise, based on the Cypriot conflict and it's Greek and Turkish inhabitants.' Read full review >
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'An engaging read with a healthy smattering of historical background.' Read full review >
  • Hilary Stookes - 'The book is impossible to categorise, being a mixture of family saga, romance, betrayal and tragedy. It is a well-written story which, as the novel progresses, becomes more and more difficult to put down.' Read full review >
  • Helen Clark - 'An unforgettable and inspiring story that will stay with me for a long while.' Read full review >
  • Joan Hill – 'I absolutely loved this novel. It is both meticulously researched and a brilliant read. The story is powerful, beautifully written and totally absorbing – a real page-turner and a must-read.' Read full review >
  • Cathy Small - 'A compelling read about two families as they struggle to survive the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. You see the families torn apart with many events and brought back together again.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'Fascinating historical background and I shall be following developments in Cyprus with sympathy for those still affected by the turmoil forty years on.' Read full review >
  • Jane Pepler - 'The story of two families left behind in a ghost city.' Read full review >
  • Joan Sidwell - 'I enjoyed the book, it was an entertaining and extremely informative read.' Read full review >
  • Jean Diamond - 'Once again, Victoria Hislop has written another graphical and well researched book that combines her fictional characters with the political history of the area...I highly recommend this book.' Read full review >
  • Jane Gilman - 'Once again she has taken a period in recent history that I knew little about and has both informed and pulled at my heartstrings with this tale of betrayal and loyalty in war torn Cyprus...Unputdownable. A great read.' Read full review >
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This novel is excellent. It is a period of history about which I know nothing, and Victoria Hislop brings the period alive.' Read full review >
  • Jane Macleod - 'From the outset you are engrossed in to the complexities of life on the little island...This is the perfect book to highlight the real Cyprus.' Read full review >
  • Jo Rennox - 'Victoria has taught me well, writing about how the fight for Independence for Cyprus was won and then how the fighters continued with a campaign to become part of Greece.' Read full review >
  • Julie Wragg - 'Two families from opposing sides rely on each other to survive in a war torn city...Overall a thoroughly researched book but lacking warmth for me.' Read full review >
  • Katie Wright - 'Inspired by real events in the 1970’s, life is about the change forever for the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot families living in the tourist hot spot of Famagusta.' Read full review >
  • Elaine Robertson - 'Hislop’s writing is always rich in detail and her descriptions of jewellery (which is actually important to the plot), clothing, décor and food brings the story to life.' Read full review >
  • Mary Gibson - 'I enjoyed this novel very much, learnt about a period of history I had no knowledge of.  The characters and the city of Famagusta are vividly drawn and realistic.  It is an ideal holiday read.' Read full review >
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'I enjoyed this riveting tale of the Island’s comparatively recent history...An excellent and informative read. Well worth recommending.' Read full review >
  • Alan Brown - 'A gentle book that describes the horrors and necessities of opposing families living in the devastation left after the war between Greeks and Turks on Cyprus.' Read full review >
  • Evelyn Love-Gajardo - 'has all the elements that have made Victoria Hislop's books so popular-a Mediterranean setting, characters you care about and a contrast between the past, in a time of conflict, and the present.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Atkins - 'The subject matter was, at times, harrowing and I found that I had held my breath at certain points!   I became hugely involved in this novel and found it difficult to put down.' Read full review >
  • Karen - 'A well researched story of the devastation caused by the Turkish invasion of Famagusta in 1974 telling the story of two families and their fight for survival.' Read full review >
  • Claire Simms - 'An excellent read about two families, one Greek & the other Turkish Cypriot that are caught in the war.' Read full review >
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Fantastic. I loved this book... It was very well written, the characters are developed slowly, you are always learning something new about them.' Read full review >
  • Maggie Crane - 'This book provides an excellent read, it is emotionally resonant throughout, demonstrating a sensitivity within a sometimes brutal environment.' Read full review >
  • Vanessa Wild - 'An enjoyable, fascinating and compelling story about families, friendship, loyalty and betrayal, which gives a good insight into the terrible events that occurred in Cyprus in the 1970s.' Read full review >
  • Tina - 'This novel is a much darker one than Victoria Hislop’s others...I often find my mind straying back to the novel.' Read full review >
  • Gina Pellett - 'Set in Cyprus The Sunrise engages the author straightaway.  The characters, locations and family tensions are brought to life for the reader by the flowing prose.' Read full review >
  • Judi Davies - 'As ever, Hislop has researched well & gives the reader a taste of history in her story of two families in Famagusta, Cyprus during the troubles between the Greek & Turkish Cypriots.' Read full review >

Win an advanced copy of Fern Britton's new novel!

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The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Ozkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's facade of glamour and success, tension is building. When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.


'Vibrant... Hislop brings history to life in this compelling tale'

'Hislop brings her consummate storytelling skills to this enthralling tale of love, marriage and a community all put to the test' Woman & Home

'Heartbreaking... A fascinating insight into a part of Mediterranean history that isn't often explored' Essentials

'An imaginative tour de force, and a great read' Daily Mail

'Fascinating' Sunday Mirror

'Hislop's writing effectively weaves the personal into the political without ever becoming overbearing. An informative but equally emotional read' Woman

'Fascinating and moving... Hislop writes unforgettably about Cyprus and its people' The Times

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

4th June 2015


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Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group


432 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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