Victoria Hislop’s The Sunrise and The Island
I’ve always been a keen reader and when I get into a gripping book with a killer story line, I can get through the whole book within days. This has happened both times I have read novels written by the uber-talented Victoria Hislop.
My love of her novels began quite late in her career. The Sunrise was released as a hardback and Kindle edition in the autumn of 2014 (the paperback is due out on 4th June 2015) and this was the fourth of four novels she has written. She has also written a number of short stories, which I am yet to read.
Starting out in the summer of 1972, the book tells the story of two neighbouring families living in Famagusta in Cyprus. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Cypriot history of that era, there is a serious conflict between the Turks and the Greeks. This leads to Turkey invading the Island to protect the Turkish Cypriots residing there. The Sunrise is actually a hotel built by one of the characters and much of the story is centred around this iconic building.
I find books like this completely fascinating and the history behind the story compelling to read. The characters are multi-faceted, and although some of them aren’t that likeable as people, the tale really pulls on your heart strings.
After reading this, I was keen to explore Victoria’s other works, so I was delighted to receive a copy of The Island as a Christmas present.
Again, this book was completely ‘un-put-downable’. For those of you who are asking ‘where have I been for the last 10 years?’ (This book was first published in 2005). I agree, this is one book that slipped under my radar at the time and I am delighted to be able to enjoy the story, all these years on.
The Island is a story within a story and is set on the Island of Spinalonga and in the village of Plaka in Crete. The novel follows a number of families throughout their lives. The characters are well scripted and the narratives of the settings are well researched. Again the book holds a lot historical importance, covering not only the leper colony off the coast of Crete but also about the occupation by the Nazis during World War II.
As well as being an international bestseller, Victoria’s The Island was selected for the Richard and Judy Summer Read, and won her the “Newcomer of the Year” Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards in 2007.
Victoria has also written two other full length novels, The Return and the Thread, which I have yet to read, but as soon as I do, I’ll post my thoughts about these.
Both books are available now to purchase. The paperback version of The Sunrise is available on pre-order.
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