Posted 20 hours ago

One August Night: Sequel to much-loved classic, The Island

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For me, it felt like the story didn’t go anywhere... the story was told through a great deal of narration, with swathes of time being written off, as ‘a year later...’. The dialogue was mostly gentle and sanguine - no family dramas, despite the fact the families had been ‘splintered’. Since I first read The Island, a book passed to me by my mother, I have been a Victoria Hislop fan. Her books are always interesting and informative of events that have taken place.

Jako sam uživala čitajući ove dvije knjige, prateći obitelji Petrakis i Vandulakis, upoznavajući uz njih puno o povijesti Grčke i Krete. Voljela bih da sam ih pročitala prije nego što sam posjetila Kretu, (Otok je objavljen 2005, a ja sam na Kreti bila 2006) ali bolje ikad nego nikad.Setting: Crete & Greek mainland; Melbourne, Australia. The book is set in the lead-up to the closing of the leper colony of Spinalonga in 1957, when a cure has been found. Anna Petrakis has a good life with Andreas, who controls the family's large olive groves, but her marriage is unfulfilled - so she seeks solace with her husband's cousin, Manolis, with whom she is passionately in love. When news filters down that the Spinalonga lepers have been cured and will be returning home, including Anna's sister Maria, Anna is devastated - as Maria was Manolis's fiancee before she was diagnosed with leprosy. Manolis too fears that Maria will seek to rekindle their engagement, especially when he discovers that she shows no outward signs of having had the disease. But at the party to celebrate the closure of the leper colony, a devastating act of violence takes place that affects all of the characters deeply and for years to come....

Maybe I’m being harsh in my review, because my expectations were too high and I’m feeling disappointed that this book didn’t deliver (hence the two stars rather one). However, anyone who has read Hislop’s previous novels will have the same expectations of a deep, history rich, evocative story - and this book is nowhere near that league.In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past’

This novel focuses on the story of Anna, Manolis, Andreas and Maria - maybe because I wasn’t invested in any of the characters enough (even Maria, who was so central to The Island), it felt like I was reading a novel based on a soap, or something a lot less substantial. The characters were mostly one dimensionally, and not fully developed enough for the reader to care about the outcome for any of the characters.It was a interesting read and I learnt a lot about leprosy sufferers and how they were sent away It was a interesting read and I learnt a lot about leprosy sufferers and how they were sent away I enjoyed the book but was slightly disappointed that I didn't feel the connection and empathy of the characters that I had previously read of in The Island. However it was great to finally feel like you weren't left in limbo from the story of the Island.

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