I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for One August Night by Victoria Hislop, sequel to acclaimed novel The Island, which is one of my favourite books of all time. Thank you to Anne Cater and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read and review this worthy continuation of the original book.
About the book:
Beloved author Victoria Hislop returns to Crete in this long-anticipated sequel to her multi-million-copy Number One bestseller,The Island.
25thAugust 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 people of 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.
Victoria Hislop said, ‘Travelling back in my imagination to revisit Spinalonga, a place where people lived in isolation with an incurable disease, seemed a very natural thing to do during lockdown – not least because the cure for the disease was found! But what has really kept my mind focussed during these past months has been to re-imagine some of the characters in that period after the closure of the leper colony. These are the characters who are profoundly affected by the events that unfold as The Island draws to its conclusion and, for all of them, it brings the need for renewal, catharsis and the beginning of very different lives.’
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 theYear 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 ofThessaloniki 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.
One August Night by Victoria Hislop is the long anticipated sequel to her much loved novel The Island. It continues the story of Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, as the island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony at long last. But on the night of Maria’s return a moment of violence sends a shockwave throughout the community, tearing apart two families and forever associating the closure of Spinalonga with a devastating tragedy that the people of Plaka will never forget.
Victoria Hislop’s writing is as vivid as always, bringing the world and people she created in The Island instantly back to life so it almost feels as though we never left, with the emotional impact of what happens on that fateful August night transporting us straight back into the heart of these people’s lives from the outset. The Island has long been one of my favourite reads of all time and One August Night is a worthy continuation of the story Victoria Hislop created all those years ago.
The author’s love of Greece comes through with every word, her writing making me feel as though I was actually there, capturing my imagination and keeping me enthralled throughout. One August Night may not tell a story quite as epic as the one told in The Island, but for anyone who loved that book as much as I did, it draws you back into the world of Maria, Anna, Manolis and Andreas, making you feel as though you had never left.
One August Night is a beautifully written sequel that is a worthy continuation of the story that began in The Island. It brings closure to a story that means so much to so many people, myself included, and I loved every word of it.
I’m not sure why, but finding the words to describe how it felt to be back in the world of a book I love so much has not been easy. But one thing I do know for certain is that One August Night is most definitely a must read for anyone who loved The Island!
An emotional and fitting conclusion to an epic story.
One August Night by Victoria Hislop is available to purchase now.
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