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Hi I'm new! Can't find this on the list. I think it was in last years Richard and Judy book club. I started reading it yesterday and was in tears within 20 mins! If you have read this book you will know which part I mean.

 

This book is about a woman who decides to visit the Cretan village that her mother grew up in. Her Mother has always been secretive about her past but has realised that her daughter will uncover a lot from her visit. Without giving a lot more away a story is told of an island that was used as a leper colony. The heartbreaking separation of the 'diseased' people from their families is harrowing. This part had me in floods of tears. I have rarely read anything that has moved me that much and I've read many, many books!

 

Let me know what you think if you have read this book?

 

:P

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Hi Lexi - welcome to BGO. Please take a moment to visit our Introduce Yourself thread in Central Library to tell us a little about yourself and what kind of books you like. Then free free to make yourself right at home!

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Caroley

Member

 

Join Date: Sep 2006

Location: Berkshire

Posts: 23

the island

Excellent book, really enjoyed it. Well done R&J viewers for voting for it!!

:

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fieding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is 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 is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last 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. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip......

 

 

"Passionately engaged with it subject" The Sunday Times

 

"A moving and absorbing holiday read that pulls at the heart strings"

Evening Standard

 

"Hislop carefully evokes the lives of Cretans ....but most commendable is her compassionate portrait of the outcasts" Guardian

 

"Wonderful describtions, strong characters and an intimate portrait of island exsistence" Woman & Home

 

The above reviews say it all........READ IT!!

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#2

14th September 2006,

Stewart

:Originally Posted by Caroley

Well done R&J viewers for voting for it!

Excuse my ignorance, but what was the vote for?

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#3

14th September 2006,

Caroley

Member

Quote:Originally Posted by Stewart

Excuse my ignorance, but what was the vote for?

 

Oh! I do appologise. This book was voted the 2006 summer read by Channel 4's Richard and Judy viewers!!

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#4

14th September 2006,

Stewart

 

It must be one of the better ones chosen by Amanda Ross then. Really, some of her choices, from what I hear, are truly terrible (thinking of Mosse''s Labyrinth). Yet she also chose Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which won that poll two years ago. Her choices then, as I see it, seem very inconsistent and I wonder if the old R&J show isn't too adverse to taking a suitcase of cash from publishers to promote some books. Or if Ross just has very polar tastes in the good and terrible sense.

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#5

14th September 2006, 09:33 PM

Caroley

Member

Originally Posted by Stewart

It must be one of the better ones chosen by Amanda Ross then. Really, some of her choices, from what I hear, are truly terrible (thinking of Mosse''s Labyrinth). Yet she also chose Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which won that poll two years ago. Her choices then, as I see it, seem very inconsistent and I wonder if the old R&J show isn't too adverse to taking a suitcase of cash from publishers to promote some books. Or if Ross just has very polar tastes in the good and terrible sense.

 

I agree with you about Labyrinth........still haven't managed to finish it!!

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#6

15th September 2006, 12:15 PM

dumpling

Member

 

Originally Posted by Caroley

I agree with you about Labyrinth........still haven't managed to finish it!!

I threw it on the bedroom floor in anger after getting all the way to page 400 and realising I still had the equivalent of another whole book to get through. Dire stuff.

 

Odd that you should bring these both up in one post -- Labyrinth is my real-life book club's read for this month (might have to bite my tongue a bit at the meeting), and The Island is next months' read!

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#7

15th September 2006, 12:53 PM

 

Hazel

Subscriber and Resident

Originally Posted by Stewart

IHer choices then, as I see it, seem very inconsistent and I wonder if the old R&J show isn't too adverse to taking a suitcase of cash from publishers to promote some books. Or if Ross just has very polar tastes in the good and terrible sense.

I think the R&J thing started out as a generic bookclub thing which included some more 'literary' choices, then evolved into the Summer Bookclub which featured books perfect for reading on the beach, a.k.a 'easy reading'. And there were 2 kind of bookclub a series. But since last year when C4 changed their series to 6 months (with Paul O'Grady beign the other 6 months) they only feature the Summer Bookclub now - which is easy reading books with great 'discussability'.

 

I have read that although they don't begin their new series till early '07, they are planning a one off, hour long, Christmas book club programme that is goign to discuss books that would make perfect Christmas presents. This programme will discuss fiction, cookbooks, childrens' books etc.

 

Quite frankly it is a sad state of affairs in the book/publishing world. Yes, there might be more sales - but what are they punting out? And the front of shop displays are stopping people from browsing - people are practically forced to buy these choices.

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#8

16th September 2006, 03:34 PM

katrina

Permanent Resident

Originally Posted by Hazel

Quite frankly it is a sad state of affairs in the book/publishing world. Yes, there might be more sales - but what are they punting out? And the front of shop displays are stopping people from browsing - people are practically forced to buy these choices.

If you go to a supermarket they practically only sell books on the R&J bookclub. And all the books have their stickers on the front. If your interested in these books they're usually on sale at a ridiculously lowprice eveywhere which is great.

 

Having said that I discovered The Time Travellers Wife and My Sister's Keeper through their coverage, and have read quite a few books that were on previous years lists. I prefered it when they included the more literary choices and it would have introduced people who would never have thought to pick up that type of book to give them a go. However this years selection didn't seem all too appealing and I've read bad reviews of several of the book.

 

I wonder if R&J gain any money from the greatly increased sales of these books.

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#9

15th September 2006, 05:48 PM

Viccie

Member

Originally Posted by Stewart

I wonder if the old R&J show isn't too adverse to taking a suitcase of cash from publishers to promote some books. ]/quote].

I wonder if it isn't more of a case of giving a helping hand to freinds and acquaintances - a lot of the R & J books are by journalists or those connected to that world - Arabella Pollen is a journalist, Kate Mosse runs the Orange Prize, Victoria Hislop is Ian Hislop's wife etc.

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I read this book really recently, and actually really enjoyed it. It was forced on me by my mum and from her description and the blurb I was expesting more chic lit. But it was a fabulous read.

I loved the descriptions of the people on the island and the vived descriptions of the setting.

Hope you enjoy the rest of it Lexi, I'm sure you will.

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  • 2 months later...

I was loaned this book to take on a long weekend away with me. Other than a bit of a forced start where I felt pushed along I really enjoyed reading it. As soon as the story started unfolding I found that I didn't want to put it down until I finished it. I would like to find out how much of the location is true to life.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this book a pleasure to read, in fact I didn't mind the few of the R&J ones I'd read. However this one stood out for me. I loved the feelings the descriptions evoked and actually spent some time browsing the internet for information about it. Plus, from another book group, someone actually kindly provided links to sites they'd found.

 

Something about the book moved me but I couldn't put my finger on it. Possibly the thought of being able to see loved ones just across the water but knowing you wouldn't see them again. It was sad and enchanting all at the same time.

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Although I enjoyed it, finding it an easy yet moving read, I was never quite able to figure out what purpose-if any-was served by Alexis! Her voice seemed to be completely superfluous and added little or nothing to the overall storyline. Was intrigued by the scenes of life in a leper colony, and felt that this alone was adequate content for the book.

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  • 3 months later...

I've just read this for my book group and it's a cracking plot wrecked by some of the clunkiest writing I've ever come across.

 

If you can ignore 90 word paragraphs with 33 adverbs and adjectives in them you might enjoy this, otherwise you'll spend the book in a state of seething indignation that writing of this quality ever made it past an editor.

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Guest Colyngbourne

Agreed, Viccie. I read it for a bookgroup too, and thought it totally pants. The story/plot was adequate enough to make a good book but the writing and characterisation was so terrible that I thought there was very little left of merit to read in this. Historic details and fact of this place existing = fabulous material. Delivery = clunking disaster.

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