I have just read a second book written by Victoria Hislop.
Her fictional characters are immersed in last century history in Thessaloniki with all the havoc, massacres, wrecks, chaos … that city went through. Hislop points out an incredible series of tragedies, the great fire of 1917 , the deportation and slaughter of the Greek minority ( over the course of 1914 to 1923) from Asia Minor from Smyrna to Thessaloniki and Athens, the Population exchange , the deportation-extermination of the Jews to Poland in 1943 , the civil war in Greece against Communists ( 1946-1949), the Greek military junta ( 1967-74) and finally the 1978 the earthquake of 1978 damaging lots of buildings and houses, leaving people destitute once again.
A good introduction to the turbulent history of the town and Greece but, from my point of view, the characters are a bit weak and dry and I ended up not being engaged with them at all. I like to be shown what the characters are feeling but here it was far from it. Victoria Hislop didn’t manage to make me feel empathy for her characters. There were the baddies on one side and the goodies on the other. None in between. It seemed to me the author was more interested in interweaving and fitting in the historical elements into her novel than giving depth to her characters. Too bad!
I am going to drop that author, for a while anyway, not wanting to waste my reading time.