Review: Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop

Publication Date: May 30, 2019
Headline Publishing Group

Genre: Historical Fiction

The gripping new novel by Sunday Times Number One bestseller Victoria Hislop is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.

Athens 1941. After decades of political uncertainty, Greece is polarised between Right- and Left-wing views when the Germans invade.

Fifteen-year-old Themis comes from a family divided by these political differences. The Nazi occupation deepens the fault-lines between those she loves just as it reduces Greece to destitution. She watches friends die in the ensuing famine and is moved to commit acts of resistance.

In the civil war that follows the end of the occupation, Themis joins the Communist army, where she experiences the extremes of love and hatred and the paradoxes presented by a war in which Greek fights Greek.

Eventually imprisoned on the infamous islands of exile, Makronisos and then Trikeri, Themis encounters another prisoner whose life will entwine with her own in ways neither can foresee. And finds she must weigh her principles against her desire to escape and live.

As she looks back on her life, Themis realises how tightly the personal and political can become entangled. While some wounds heal, others deepen.



I've been reading a lot of WWII books this year but what sets Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop is that it is set in Greece. I've yet to read anything about the German occupation of Greece so it was fascinating, and of course, heartbreaking and infuriating. This book had all the feels!

Themis is a young woman when the Nazis invade her homeland. She and her siblings live with their grandmother, and the politics of the day divide the siblings, which is frightening similar to what is happening to families around the world today with regards to the left and right. In the book, we see how the invasion of the Germans and then the British affect Themis, her friends, and her family. It was absolutely engrossing!

Hislop is a master at bringing the atrocities that happened to Greece and it's people during this tumultuous time in history to life. Beautifully written and well-researched, Those Who Have Lost is why I read historical fiction. I will never forget Themis or what happened to the people of Greece. And I sincerely hope we don't have to live through something like that again. Be warned...have tissues ready!

This is my first read from Victoria Hislop but I loved her writing so I'm going to go and pick up her other books. I love finding a new author that I can binge!

Thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours for giving me the opportunity to read Those Who Are Loved.

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 and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. The Island has sold over 1.2million copies in the UK and more than 5 million worldwide. Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book Award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set short story collection, The Last Dance and Other Stories. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014. Victoria’s most recent book, Cartes Postales from Greece was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and one of the Top Ten biggest selling paperbacks of 2017. Her novels have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. As usual her books are so well researched. Sounds very good.


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