Thursday 27 October 2011

Review: The Thread - Victoria Hislop

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Fiction
Pages: 384
Published: October 27, 2011
Publisher: Headline
Source: For review

Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself. 

Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian? Should he stay or should he go.

My thoughts:
This book opens in the modern era, and ends there, but the rest is all 1917 and forward. A young man is being told the story of his grandparents a and why they do not want to leave the city. Making this a mix of historical fiction and modern fiction.

It was a good story about the Katerina and Dimitri, but it was just as much a story about Greek modern history and especially then Thessaloniki history. Because they see so much since they live through it. Honestly I can't even begin with all the twists and turns, war, politics and civil wars, it's always there in the background as life goes on, as life always does.

If I first look at all of this because it has such a big impact on things. First they fight with Turkey which brings young Katerina to Greece from Smyrna, and all the Muslims have to leave Greece. Tragedy from the beginning. Then there is of course WWII which brings Greece into another turmoil and lots of fighting, and the chapters I found the hardest. The Germans come and then they send away the Jews to Poland. And they think everything will be ok while I scream do not go. But of course they go. I will never understand the cruelty of humans, and why some just stand by. But all these things brings such a reality and impact to this story.

The story of Katerina and Dimitri is one that is long in the making. We know they will end up together but the road there is long because of war and its impact on both of them. And Dimitri is rich, but with a troubled family life. Katerina is poor, but with a loving family. But something brings them together, I will let something be a secret. I do like both of them, and their friends and family. Since the books spans over a big portion of time there will be losses, heartache and sorrow, happiness and new paths to take, weaving it all to beautiful story that takes a hold of you.

It was a lovely portrait over a family and a city. I must say that a lot of things happened in Greece, and it does make it a rich settings for a story.

I read the book pretty fast because I wanted to know what would happen, and it would be a fiction book that I recommend. 



  1. It seems the Greeks have had it rough all the time after the Antiquity and even then their life was not easy...exactly like today. An interesting book and a nice review - thanks!

  2. I loved her first book, The Island! It was amazing, but I still haven't read any more of her books.

  3. Nice review, but this book does totally not appeal to me for some reason.

  4. Usually I would say this is a bit to classy for my usual type of read but I like the sound of it and I love the area it's set even if the history is difficult in that part of the world.

  5. Victoria Hislop's books have been very popular here in Norway but I have yet to read them. Somehow they haven't intrigued me, yet.. Glad you liked it, perhaps I will try this one some day :)

  6. Ana
    Aye those poor Greeks and today it is just as bad, well really. Bankrupt and all that jazz

    I am glad to hear that, I really should read more by her.

    They can't all catch your attention

    Lol, classy ;) But then one have to read those too. I always like a bit of classy fiction now and again

    I do hope you try it one day :) And since they are popular and everything over there

  7. I don't think I've ever heard of this author before. It sounds good and I like that its set in Greece. Have to remember this name for future.

  8. Elysium
    I have always liked Greece, but I have not read much set after 1917 and forward. After the 80s yes, but not in between

  9. This sounds great -- I love the sound of it and, hello, would love to escape to Greece!

  10. I'm not sure I've read a modern book set in Greece. This sounds like a page turner!

  11. I like that cover and the book sounds interesting. I do enjoy this genre. I'll have to add this to my wish list.

  12. Hmmm, Greek history... Sounds interesting. I wouldn't have thought it would catch my eye, but with that mentioned... Well, who knows right. :) Thank you!

  13. Ya know...I never read a book set in Greece before (besides for the anicent Greece stories of course). Great review! Sounds like a wonderful book.

  14. I love the setting and turbulent era of this novel!

  15. This book sounds like a fascinating historical fiction read! I'll need to add it to my list.

  16. Audra
    Not that it is looking that good for Greece these days

    I have not read any either for some strange reaosn-

    Lovely and serene

    I hope you like it :D

    *wave back*

  17. melissa
    Aye who knows. You never know what might tempt you

    I hope you will try it then :D it was such a nice mix with a very long period it covered, and I so liked that.

    It would sure never have worked if written in my country

    Yay, I hope you will like it if you read it

  18. Not really something I would read. And for some reason this books seems like it would be very sad.

  19. Jenny
    Well at times, but then life is sad. people die. That is truth

  20. This one sounds great. I do enjoy a good fiction every once in a while. I'm adding this to my TBR list...I also enjoy books you can't put down, yep, I'm sold.

  21. Deanna
    We all need a bit of fiction now and again. I guess it keeps me rooted in reality



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