Thursday, 7 July 2016

Book Review: The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Book Review The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop, Book Review, The Sunrise, Victoria Hislop, The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop review,

I read an article last summer about Books You Should Read Whilst On Holiday, and Victoria Hislop's famous The Island topped the book to read whilst in Greece. So I took it on holiday to Greece last year, fell in love with it and posted a review here. This time it's the turn of The Sunrise set in Cyprus in the city of Famagusta in 1974, centering around one Greek Cypriot family and another Turkish Cypriot family who are caught up in the war between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus. 

Before 1974 Cyprus was a thriving tourist area (and still is to an extent) and in The Sunrise, Savvas and Aphroditi Papacosta are running a successful hotel chain in Famagusta, with loyal and close employees from both Greek and Turkish backgrounds. Savvas' right-hand man Markos Georgiou is running the new hotel club, a charming man with all the tourists and a little too friendly with Aphroditi, Savvas' wife. Fast forward to the Turkish invasion and Famagusta has been abandoned, no longer is its golden beach surrounded by tourists and hotels fully-booked all year long but instead soldiers loot stores, take prisoners and hold mass killings, leaving a ghost town behind. Two families remain, the Greek Georgious and Turkish Ozkans who have to learn to live together and survive in a town everyone has forgotten. But Markos becomes involved in a dangerous business, which endangers both families, leaving them to make the hard decision of leaving or staying....

It's totally gripping and hard to imagine that such a thing could've happened to thousands of people in the 20th century. Hislop is well-known for her books based in Greece and around Europe, taking historic events and adding a fictional element. Because it's a real-life event, it makes the book all the more interesting and can't-put-down. Famagusta is still uninhabited and fenced off, even to this day, after its entire population fled in fear. If you like historic books based on a different culture than your won, I'd definitely recommend reading a Victoria Hislop book (start with The Island first!)


Have you read this book before? What are you currently reading?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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