Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past, but Sofia has never spoken of it. She only admits to growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend and promises that, through her, she will learn more.
Arriving in Plaka, Alexis learns that it lies a stone's throw from the deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. She finds her mother's friend, Fortini, and hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother, Eleni, and her daughters, and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. And she discovers how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip.
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©2005 Victoria Hislop; (P)2006 Headline Audiobooks
"At last, a beach book with a heart." (Observer)
"Passionately engaged with its subject." (The Sunday Times)
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I just found this book so depressing and only listened to the first couple of hours a total waste of a credit for me.
I could only read the first couple of hours.
A total waste of a credit for me I bought this to read on holiday in Greece and was totally disappointed.
As my first audio book I was not disappointed.
This is a beautiful book, heart wrenching and painful at times but beautiful no less.
So lovely read, I really felt for the characters in the book, and lost myself in the story on many occasions.
Well worth a listen.
"An engaging and moving story beautifully read"
An engaging story and beautifully read by Sandra Duncan. Sometimes I have a problem with the voices which narrators use to portray different characters and I found this so with the whiny, shrill tones of the young Anna. But it did point up what an unpleasant and selfish child she was, traits which did not change in adulthood. A very moving story especially of how characters adapted to their new lives on Spinalonga, the prejudices which surround the disease of leprosy and what we can learn from the resilience, understanding and sacrifice of others. Highly recommended.
"Good plot idea, shame about the writing"
Such a powerful issue deserves so much better writing. The characters are predictable and cardboard - and the writing has no concept of nuance and understatement. The bad guys are too bad, the good guys are too good, and its hard to care about any of them because its all so wooden. Dramatic tension absolutely lacking - and it was just so obvious how it was going to end.
I found this book fascinating. Very interesting characters. The locations are beautifully discribed. Lots of facts and information along the way. I couldn't stop listening and was quite disappointed when I got to the end.
"A moving story of love against the odds"
Having greatly enjoyed The Thread by the same author I downloaded this earlier book and was not disappointed. It has similarities in that it is based the same geographical area, this time Crete, and is told over many decades of the 20th century. Where The Thread encompassed love and war, The Island uses the fear and shame of leprosy as a backdrop to a love story. It's a very moving book with a sympathetic narration that carries the listener along. Recommended.
"Rather predictable writing"
I really wanted to enjoy this book - the theme, the idea behind it all sounded like they'd sweep me away from mundane life. Sadly, I found the descriptions all too predictable and found myself writing the script before I heard it! Just not dynamic enough for me I'm afraid.
It doesn't help that it sounded like it was being read by a slightly passionless newsreader ... sorry!
"My favourite "pick it up anywhere" book"
The Island is one of my favourite audiobooks. It's always downloaded to my phone, it's my "go to" for a quick listen.
The lovely words read by the "perfect-for-this-story" narrator who adds to the romance and the atmosphere of the book
The romance between husband and wife though they were seperated by infection adn a stretch of water
Very emotional, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the horrible situation of the inhabitants of the islands knowing that normality is but a stretch of water away.
Great read, cracking to listen to. I can press play and get lost for a short time. They have chosen the perfect narrator for this story
"You will get hooked!"
Lovely book. Nicely told. You get sucked into the island and story and the way of life. And you learn a lot about an illness that in those days we knew little of. Its cruel in parts. But that can be life .......... You want it all to end well. A book not to be missed in my view. It will be one you remembered.
"a much loved story.."
well worth listening to snuggled up in bed or even passing the time while donate ironing...
A great read. So much sadness for one family. Yet they carried on with their lives. Could not leave it down
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