Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Wednesday 10 July 2024

"One August night" by Victoria Hislop

An audio book, the events spread over many years.

Anna, a fisherman's daughter, and Andrea own a farm in Crete, employing 100 people. An heir hasn't appeared. Anna's been having an affair with Andrea's jollier cousin, Minolis. She becomes pregnant, gives birth, Minolis becoming the godfather. Anna's sister Maria is on the leprosy island nearby. She'd been engaged to Minolis and was still a virgin.

A cure for leprosy is found. On the day that Maria returns, Andrea shoots and kills Anna, getting a life sentence. Maria marries Nikos, a doctor, and adopts Sofia, her sister's child. Minolis has fled to the mainland. At Perodas, a port, he finds work in a shipyard. His old landlady find out about his back story. His colleague finds out that the landlady was a singer he fancied. The colleague's married but it's the landlady he wants.

Maria visits Andrea in jail, despite the prison officers touching her up. She delivers Andrea a letter from his father saying he's forgiven. His father dies. The money is split among the daughters. Andrea's in solitary confinement, fasting, finding god.

When the landlady and her partner leave for Australia, Minolis goes too. He drops Anna' earring into the sea.

Maria's attitude to Andrea is unconvincing. There are few surprises and little depth.

I don't like "She sighed audibly" or "a playful smile creeps across her lips"

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