One August Night
By Victoria Hislop
Published by Headline Review
What it’s about?
Beloved author Victoria Hislop returns to Crete in this long-anticipated sequel to her multi-million-copy Number One bestseller, The Island.
25th August 1957. The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences.
When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the peopleof Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever coloured with tragedy.
In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.
Victoria Hislop returns to the world and characters she created in The Island – the award-winning novel that remains one of the biggest selling reading group novels of the century. It is finally time to be reunited with Anna, Maria, Manolis and Andreas in the weeks leading up to the evacuation of the island… and beyond.
What I think:
I read The Island when it was first published and, on a holiday to Crete, have visited the island of Spinalonga. It really is an extraordinary place. While obviously heartbreaking, it is full of hope and resilience. It was a thought-provoking and emotional day trip.
One August Night begins with the closure of the colony. Rumours of a cure are circulating bringing hope to families and dread to others. Manolis is concerned Bout Maria’s return. After so long he does not know her any more and is concerned that she may expect him to honour their engagement.
Matters are complicated by his deep love for her sister, Anna, and their passionate affair.
That August night should be a celebration but it brings an expected tragedy and life for those involved will never be the same again.
The book explores love and forgiveness, friendship and loss.
Maria and Manolis both have to rebuild their lives.
The book covers a number of years with some big leaps to accommodate the plot and weave the different elements of the Every scene is full atmospheric detail that recreates Greece in the period before tourism becomes so popular.
My favourite character is Agathi, the owner of the rooms Manoli rents. She is kind and compassionate, nosey but thoughtful. She is also fiesty and funny and delightful bringing joy to every scene she is in.
There is no doubt that this will be a huge seller this summer. Fans of The Island will long to hear how the stories of characters that touched their hearts continue. And for a relatively short novel, it packs some big punches.
About the author:
Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller, has sold more than six million copies and was turned into a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra.
Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, and in the number one
bestseller The Return she wrote about the painful secrets of its civil war. In The Thread, Victoria returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki and its people across the twentieth century. Shortlisted for a British Book Award, it confirmed her reputation as an inspirational storyteller.
Her fourth novel, The Sunrise, about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the enduring ghost town of Famagusta, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller. Cartes Postales from Greece, fiction illustrated
with photographs, followed and was one of the biggest selling books of 2016.
The poignant and powerful Those Who Are Loved was a Sunday Times number one hardback bestseller in 2019 and explores
a tempestuous period of modern Greek history through the eyes of a complex and compelling heroine.
Victoria’s most recent novel, One August Night, returns to Crete in the long-anticipated sequel to The
Island. The novel spent twelve weeks in the Top 10 hardback fiction charts. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages.
Victoria divides her time between England and Greece and in 2020, Victoria was granted honorary citizenship by the President of Greece. She was recently appointed patron of Knossos 2025, which is raising funds for a new research centre at one of Greece’s most significant archaeological sites. She is also on the
British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
Thank you to Headline for my gifted copy of One August Night, and to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.