From Publishers Weekly
Themes of isolation and imprisonment dominate Hatziyannidis's enjoyable and peculiar debut novel. Set in a remote village on one of the Greek islands, the novel centers on Rodakis, a 25-year-old "essentially unemployed" and "irascible" loner who takes in Vaya, a woman on the run who carries a suspicious amount of luggage with her, at the urging of the village priest. Vaya and Rodakis slowly learn to trust one another, and Rodakis learns that Vaya has been hiding her infant daughter, Rosa, in one of her trunks. The three form an odd family, although, refreshingly, Rodakis and Vaya do not immediately develop a romantic relationship. While the early chapters are weakened by the stilted translation and a series of confusing flashbacks and flash forwards, Hatziyannidis's narrative hits its stride once Vaya encourages Rodakis to take up his dead father's bee-keeping business. Their recipe for honey draws unwanted attention from across the island and abroad, shattering their cloistered lives; everyone, it seems, wants the recipe, though none as badly as a group of monks who kidnap Rodakis and imprison him in a cave for years. It's a credit to Hatziyannidis that he pulls off a plausibly happy ending. (Sept. 18)
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About the Author
Vangelis Hatziyannidis was an well known Greek actor until a virus confined him to a wheelchair and he turned his career to writing.