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The Island

by Victoria Hislop

This book appears as if it is going to be a standard mediterranean love story set at the time of WWII and the cover is somewhat bland. What makes this book interesting is that it is set on a Greek island called Spinalonga that once housed a leper colony. The spectre of leprosy adds mystery to the plot and the effects of the disease affect the behavior of many characters. I am about a quarter of the way through...and it is a good read.

Suggested by Oatcake, Staffordshire

Tagged with: captivating fascinating fascinating, provoking thought



I am loving this book - I have found it rather disturbing and thought provoking as it touches on philosophical ideas about the reason for us being alive. How do you cope with having no hope of getting better from leprosy. Also if you take the step of having children, then it 's a catch-22 situation. If they are born with the disease then you've destined them to a life of isolation. If they're born healthy, then you have to send then away. I have since found out more about the island. I understand it is now one of the main visitor attractions in Crete.
Jean Duggan
I had visited this island 'Spinaloga' Crete about 15 years ago and it impacted on me with the atmoshpere and history and I felt the sadness and shear hopelessness of the lepers who were abondoned there. I was eager to read Victoria Hislops description of life on the island and I think she portrayed it with great feeling, sensitivity and respect for the people living on the island and the Greek's traditional way of life Although this was a piece of fiction , knowing Spinalonga exists brought this book alive for me
Nina Eastwood
I loved this book but felt a bit let down at the end. Not sure exactly what I was expecting but I thought it faded rather than ended. As a read it was warm and comforting rather like a favourite old jumper.
A fascinating book, filled with emotion, and at times, terrible sadness. Even more interesting because of the factual element in it and encouraged me to find out more about the island. Hope Victoria Hislop writes more novels as good as this one.
Lily White

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