Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'The story started at dawn on the fourteenth of September, 1943 . . .'
All her life, London-born Angelika has been intrigued by her mother's secret past. Now planning her wedding, she feels she must visit the remote Crete village her mother grew up in.
Angie's estranged elderly grandmother, Maria, is dying. She welcomes Angie with open arms - it's time to unburden herself, and tell the story she'll otherwise take to her grave.
It's the story of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War, of horror, of courage and of the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. And it's the story of bitter secrets that broke a family apart, and of three enchanting women who come together to heal wounds that have damaged two generations.
Set during the Second World War years in Greece the story takes place on the island of Crete where Angie returns to her birthplace to visit her elderly grandmother Maria much against the wishes of her own mother. Maria wants to make her peace before she dies to tell Angie the terrible story that she does not want to take to her grave.
German occupation of the island during the war reveals some terrible stories that are based on the mostly true stories told by the elderly women of Amiras. This was mixed nicely with the culture and traditions of this village. Gradually as secrets are revealed we piece together the past. Good characterisation and vivid descriptive passages bring this story to life. A little flitting between past and present did make it a bit tricky to maintain continuity but it didn't spoil what was otherwise a good read. Some good twists and mysteries carefully revealed make this a worthwhile read. Not my usual genre but does get a well deserved 4 stars.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.