Everywhere we turn, on television and in newspapers, Greece is in the news. Greeks have been rioting, banks have closed and been unable to disburse money from ATMs. There’s unrest in Greece as the country struggles with its decision whether or not to make financial concessions and stick with the European Union or create its own currency. Either way, Greece has many years of work ahead towards establishing financial stability.
In Victoria Hislop’s novel, THE SUNRISE (Harper), she explores an earlier time, just over four decades ago, of unrest in Greece’s history. In the summer of 1972, Famagusta was Cyprus’s most desirable tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Greek and Turk Cypriots worked side by side with no obvious problems. In her novel, a fictional young couple decide to build a luxury hotel called, The Sunrise in Famagusta which will cater to only the wealthiest of the the rich and famous. But beneath the illusion of glamour and success, ethnic tension is building.
In 1974, an actual Greek coup d’état occurred throwing the island into chaos. Turkey invaded Greece to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority and forty-thousand families fled Famagusta leaving behind a deserted land. THE SUNRISE is the fictional story of three intersecting families, including the Georigious and Ozkans – one Turkish, the other Greek who are forced to live in the abandoned hotel, The Sunrise with very little resources. THE SUNRISE’s moving narrative is about what lengths people will go to protect those they love, what they will do to survive, all while battling their own prejudices.
It’s interesting to note that the city of Varosha on the Island of Famagusta has been a ghost town for forty-years, since the coup d’état, barricaded by barbwire and nobody has been allowed in or out. But just this February, Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders met at the abandoned airport in the capital city of Nicosia to restart talks for the first time. The United States and other western countries are trying to get leaders to start talking, so who knows? Maybe Famagusta will one day again be the jewel of the Mediterranean.
Victoria Hislop is the internationally bestselling author of The Island and The Return. She writes travel features for the Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, House & Garden, and Woman & Home. She divides her time among rural Kent, London, and Crete. She’s and has two children.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com we have one copy of THE SUNRISE to giveaway. Just leave the name of one of Victoria’s previous novels and we’ll pick a winner Monday! Good luck!
Thanks TLC Book Tours for including us on this tour. We received a copy of THE SUNRISE for an honest review! Have a great weekend.