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The island por Victoria Hislop
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The island (original 2005; edição 2006)

por Victoria Hislop

Séries: The Island (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,796817,218 (3.76)73
The million-copy number one bestseller On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding 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...… (mais)
Membro:ElsieMoyse
Título:The island
Autores:Victoria Hislop
Informação:London : Review, 2006.
Colecções:Lidos mas não possuídos
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Greece, leprosy

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The Island por Victoria Hislop (2005)

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[This is a review I wrote in 2007]

When I first picked up the book and started reading I thought the first two chapters were quite stilted and hesitant, almost as if they had been written as an afterthought, but carry on reading and you're rewarded with the main body of the story which I just couldn't put down.

Essentially the book follows the story of Alexis, who has gone to Plaka in Crete to find out about her mother's Cretan family. Begininng with Alexis's great-grandmother Eleni, trace the history through her daughters Anna and Maria in wartime Crete, and find amongst it all a history that is richly interwoven with the small island of Spinalonga off the coast of Plaka, a former leper colony.

With wonderfully rich descriptions, this is a moving page-turner - great for a holiday read, or any kind of read if you haven't got a beach holiday on the horizon. A brilliant first novel. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 14, 2020 |
8/10: An enjoyable and moving read, though I thought the modern 'bookends' to the story were unnecessary, and added little. I would have preferred the writer to concentrate on the story of Spinalonga. An appendix that gave a brief history of real-life Spinalonga would have also been very helpful. That's the problem with historical fiction that has some basis in reality. You're never quite sure what you've learned. ( )
  mark_read | Aug 13, 2020 |
The Island is Victoria Hislop’s debut novel and is set on the island of Crete. The book covers the lives and loves of a number of generations of women from one family and covers much of the 20th century. It opens in the present as Alexis comes to Crete both on a holiday with her boyfriend and to search out the story of her family on her secretive mother’s side. What she finds is a strange history of leprosy, adultery, and murder. She also finds that the women in her family have been strong, loyal and caring.

I loved the story and was intrigued by all the information about leprosy and the small community of Spinalonga where lepers were sent to live away from the general population. Spinalonga is a tiny island just off the coast of Crete, it was a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. This terrible, misunderstood disease was a living death sentence as victims were shunned and forced away from their families and homes. Considered “unclean” a leper was unwelcome wherever they went. Spinalonga was, for many, a refuge. Here they could live in relative peace, had access to doctors, and the company of others afflicted by the disease.

The story draws the reader in with it’s wonderful descriptions, strong characters and moving story-line. There were some flaws to the book mostly in the predictability of the family saga and some overload of information, but her research was excellent and I learned a lot about the disease of leprosy and fell in love with the island of Crete. Overall The Island was well worth my time invested in the reading. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 6, 2020 |
When I read my first Victoria Hislop book, The Sunrise, I just knew that I had to read all of her other books, so I was delighted when my fairy godsister offered to loan me her copy of The Island which was Victoria Hislop's first novel. What an amazing debut, it's absolutely breathtaking and it affected me so much that I found myself getting quite emotional quite a few times.

I have never been to Crete but my parents have been and I heard all about their trip to Spinalonga - the famous Greek leper colony. What Victoria Hislop does so cleverly is that she breathes new life into history by creating characters you take to your heart so that you walk every step and feel every emotion with them.

The story starts in 2001 with Alexis Fielding visiting the small fishing village of Plaka to find out about her family history, it's a bit of an excuse to get away from her boyfriend for a few days on their holiday to Crete. Alexis carries a letter from her mother, Sofia, to her old friend Fotini which asks Fotini to tell Alexis the story that Sofia can't bring herself to tell her daughter. So the story rolls back to 1939 beginning with Sofia's grandparents, Georgis and Eleni, and their two daughters Anna and Maria. The family are heartbroken when leprosy curses their house and a life on Spinalonga beckons for Eleni, but this isn't the only secret that Sofia has kept hidden from Alexis.

The story of Spinalonga is absolutely fascinating and I could imagine people's fear of leprosy before it was fully understood. It's so sad to think that people could have been going about their everyday lives then noticing an odd patch of skin and before they know it they are ripped from their family and sent to live on the island. It must have been soul destroying to be so close to mainland Crete but hopefully the residents made the best of it, as they did in this book. This multi-coloured, hopeful and beautiful story is the history of Spinalonga that I want to remember and The Island is not a book I will ever forget.

A beautiful, breathtaking debut that breathes new life into this mysterious island and reveals its colourful history so vividly through Victoria Hislop's descriptive and emotional prose. A definite recommended read and one that I will read again. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
A remarkable novel that not only reads well as a story, but opens a window to the world before antibiotics. ( )
  Roarer | Nov 19, 2019 |
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A cold wind whipped through the narrow streets of Plaka and the chill of the autumnal air encircled the woman, paralysing her body and mind with a numbness that almost blocked her senses but could do nothering to alleviate her grief.
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The million-copy number one bestseller On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding 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...

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