1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again.
1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned - now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love...
The story is told in the present and in the past.
In 1938 three teens meet and enjoy life. Eleni, Andreas and Peter.
In the present Anna meets an descendant of Peter, and one who wants to meet her grandmother Eleni. Not something Eleni wants, but instead she tells her story to Anna. Though I must say, it was not really Eleni's story we get, it is Andreas' story. Quite the shame, cos yes his story is good, but Eleni's would have been so different. A woman's perspective.
Ok, back to the past. The war starts. Italians and later Germans invade Greece. Andreas goes off to fight. Eleni stays at home, and Peter who knows Greek and the island will later be sent there. They will all meet again. And we all know that wont be pretty.
It's war. There is hate. There is struggle. They all want to fight for their country, even if their country is not always making the right choices, and they realise that. But it's still their country.
But there is more. Peter was on the island with his father, who was an archaeologist. And later Germans come back to find that which was not found, or was it? And to take it...
I do not think I have read a book set in Greece during WWII before. I liked the mix of war and the hunt for that which was hidden. It was also sad to see how the anger still lingered on. Still, more of Elenis' story would have been nice, but that would have made the book too big. Not to mention to see how Peter fared before he came there. Now that would have made it even bigger. So I am happy with what I got.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by Headline