The House on Paradise Street

by Sofka Zinovieff

Greece is the setting for a story which brings into focus the recent history of the country, highlighting how the slide into civil war following World War Two fractured Greece and its families, leaving a legacy that has not yet been overcome. It's a story told with a passion where injustices are are exposed giving the reader a thoughtful, absorbing journey into a period of history often overlooked.


The sky was filled with a sickly yellow haze and a humid wind twisted the air. This disconcerting southerly appears from time to time, carrying Saharan sand all the way across the Mediterranean, depositing it throughout the centre of Athens as a layer of rusty powder. Our hands picked up the African dust on the handrail and the leaves on the lemon tree were tinted terracotta. The lemon tree dominates our yard. It was planted by Aunt Alexandra's father in the 1920s, when he built the house, and now it reaches to our first floor windows, the fruit ripening almost all year round. In the spring, the building is flooded with the blossom's intoxicating scent. The fire escape descends to the courtyard at the back of the house, alongside - almost inside - the tree, so you can reach out to pick a lemon or take a leaf to crush and sniff the citrus tang. Tig sometimes climbs onto the sturdy central branches and sits, hiding.


The Thread by Victoria Hislop

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