My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Publisher - Headline Review
Pages - 406
Blurb from Goodreads
In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Özkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's façade of glamour and success, tension is building.
When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.
It is 1972, set in Famagusta in Cyprus, hot spot for tourists and flourishing for the locals. Aphroditi & her husband Savaas are already proud hotel owners but Savvas has his sights set even higher and wants to build a bigger lavish hotel for the creme de la creme. Everything looks to be going well when Turkey invades, the unrest had warned it would lead to this but some of the locals refused to believe it. Forty thousand flee from the soldiers but a few refuse to leave their homes, this is the story of a handful of people before and after the invasion.
My lack of knowledge on history is really quite shocking and I am the first to admit I don't willingly pick up books like this. However fiction based on fact I really enjoy as you get involved in the characters and learn about historical events and the impact of them. I went on to read up on this and see some of the pictures, it is a shame this place is still abandoned, guarded and left uninhibited.
This story creates a powerful vision of what this beautiful island was like and the version of the book I received came with some black and white photographs on the pages and a map of Cyrpus in 1972. There are some characters that you can invest in, some you like and some I came to loathe, the book also highlights the destruction an invasion and civil unrest can have. There is a focus on relationships, how some can form, be destroyed or strengthen when put under so much pressure. Marital affairs, murder, brutality and rape are some of the topics covered, not in excessive minute detail but they are mentioned. I think, for some books like this it can make for really uncomfortable reading, however the main focus I felt was on the impact of these events rather than lots of hard to read details. I have read this author before and I would read her again, 3/5 for me this time. Thanks to BookBridgr for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.