Happy April 1st! Have you been caught out yet? I have fond memories of being told about cows in the garden and strange cats in the bathroom over the years but now the children have grown up and left I just lurk at home and wait until 12 noon has past when I am safe. I always enjoy going through the newspaper to spot the outlandishly tall story though, although no-one will ever top the Guardian’s wonderful article about the island of San Serriffe.
So from reading the newspaper to reading books, and I’m here to tell you about my March book selection, ‘The House on Paradise Street’ by Sofka Zinovieff and what I have lined up for April.
This book is actually a little out of my comfort zone. I tend to rather zone out of politics and war, in print as well as on film, but this is a fascinating and poignant story about the Greek Civil War. About which, I am ashamed to say I knew absolutely nothing.
The blurb on the back says:
“In 2008 Antigone Perifanis returns to her old family home in Athens after 60 years in exile. She has come to attend the funeral of her only son, Nikitas, who was born in prison, and whom she has not seen since she left him as a baby.
Nikitas had been distressed in the days before his death and, curious to find out why, his English widow Maud starts to investigate his complicated past. In so doing, she finds herself reigniting a bitter family feud, discovering a heartbreaking story of a young mother caught up in the political tides of the Greek Civil War and forced to make a terrible decision that would blight not only her life but that of future generations…
The House on Paradise Street is an epic tale of love and loss, which takes readers from the war-torn streets of Nazi-occupied Athens through the military junta years and on into the troubled city of recent times, and shows what happens when ideology threatens to subsume our sense of humanity.”
It’s not bedtime reading. I found some of the images too sad and disturbing to fall asleep on, but don’t be put off by that that. It’s well written, gripping and the characters are interesting and believable. Also for me it helped fill a gaping hole of ignorance around what has been going on in Greece in recent times.
For April I have lined up this book…
I know lots of people loved Rachel Joyce’s previous book ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ (which I have yet to read) so I bought this for my mum for her birthday. My Mum’s main occupation is reading as arthritis has put a stop to the knitting and needlepoint that she loved. It’s really hard to find her something which is that bit different, and this apparently hit the spot. I’m looking forward to it!
P.S. I’m working away on the four runners-up prizes for the Box of Delights giveaway but I’ve not yet had a response to my email from one of the winners. CINDY WILSON in Canada, are you there? Please get in touch… if I don’t hear back in a few days I will be re-allocating the prize. It would be a shame to waste it.
I’ll be back soon…x