Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future.
From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, 'Among the Olive Groves' is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite A beautiful, beautiful read. That is what I thought when I finished Among the Olive Groves, the newest book by author Chrissie Parker. Written in a split style, the story simultaneously follows Elena Petrakis, a woman living on the Greek island of Zakynthos in the late 1930s, during World War II, and Kate Fisher, living on the Cornish coast of modern day England. The story skillfully moves back and forth between the two women’s lives, weaving seamlessly between the English coastline and island life in Greece. Both Elena and Kate deal with challenges in their lives, Elena related to the impact of the war on the life of her island, and her decision to join the resistance movement. For Kate, her whole life feels different when, on her 21st birthday, she discovers that she is adopted. She leaves England with questions and heads to Zakynthos where she hopes to get some answers. Among the Olive Groves is a book that will stay with me for a long time. Author Chrissie Parker has a true gift in creating characters that any reader will come to care for and love. She is excellent at describing the settings and the Greek island of Zakynthos almost comes forward as another character in her story. Any reader who loves a beautiful work of fiction, historical or not, a story with strong and interesting female characters, or just a wonderful story of finding oneself will want to read Among the Olive Groves. This was the first book that I’ve read by author Chrissie Parker, but it certainly won’t be the last. I certainly hope that this very promising author is hard at work on her next book as we speak.
This tops my list of favorite reads for 2014! Chrissie Parker masterfully weaves a tale of contemporary romance with the right blend of epic historical fiction. “Among the Olive Groves” is a love story that captivates, intrigues and delights while, at the same time, when recounting atrocities of war, the book reminds us to appreciate the sacrifices of brave men and women fighting for freedom. The story flows effortlessly between the life of Kate Fisher, living in modern-day Newquay on the Cornish coast of England, and the life of Elena Petrakis, living on the Greek island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea, in late 1930’s. Weaving back and forth between the past and the present, we’re immersed in the lives of Kate and Elena; both strong, honest, courageous, and brave women meeting life’s circumstances head on with truth and dignity no matter what crisis they face. Beautifully written descriptive passages transport us from the rugged English coast to an idyllic island paradise, filled with palm trees and olive groves, surrounded by turquoise blue waters, seemingly isolated from the world’s problems. We follow Kate’s journey of love and self-discovery after she receives life-changing news on her twenty-first birthday, while Elena’s life at nineteen evolves from free and blissful to one of undeniable passion, sacrifice and survival. It’s not so much the news that Kate receives that sends her on a circuitous path, but the way she chooses to deal with her new found reality. Themes of love, sacrifice, truth and the constancy of the sea mingle together with each turn of the page, bringing lives together and tearing others apart. I highly recommend this book! It’s excellent!