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The Island | [Victoria Hislop]

The Island

Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past, but Sofia has never spoken of it. She only admits to growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend and promises that, through her, she will learn more. Arriving in Plaka, Alexis learns that it lies a stone's throw from the deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony.
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Publisher's Summary

Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past, but Sofia has never spoken of it. She only admits to growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend and promises that, through her, she will learn more.

Arriving in Plaka, Alexis learns that it lies a stone's throw from the deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. She finds her mother's friend, Fortini, and hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother, Eleni, and her daughters, and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. And she discovers how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip.

©2005 Victoria Hislop; (P)2006 Headline Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"At last, a beach book with a heart." (Observer)
"Passionately engaged with its subject." (The Sunday Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (7 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
2.3 (3 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
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2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
2.3 (3 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
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2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Jan Melbourne, Australia 10-07-12
    Jan Melbourne, Australia 10-07-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    216
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    64
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    21
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing"
    What disappointed you about The Island?

    I just found this book so depressing and only listened to the first couple of hours a total waste of a credit for me.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sandra Duncan?

    I could only read the first couple of hours.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    A total waste of a credit for me I bought this to read on holiday in Greece and was totally disappointed.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
Sort by:
  • Ragen
    Salisbury, United Kingdom
    2/2/08
    Overall
    "Lovely book"

    As my first audio book I was not disappointed.
    This is a beautiful book, heart wrenching and painful at times but beautiful no less.
    So lovely read, I really felt for the characters in the book, and lost myself in the story on many occasions.
    Well worth a listen.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Fenella
    Petersfield, Hampshire, United Kingdom
    8/31/08
    Overall
    "Rather predictable writing"

    I really wanted to enjoy this book - the theme, the idea behind it all sounded like they'd sweep me away from mundane life. Sadly, I found the descriptions all too predictable and found myself writing the script before I heard it! Just not dynamic enough for me I'm afraid.

    It doesn't help that it sounded like it was being read by a slightly passionless newsreader ... sorry!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    8/22/12
    Overall
    "A moving story of love against the odds"

    Having greatly enjoyed The Thread by the same author I downloaded this earlier book and was not disappointed. It has similarities in that it is based the same geographical area, this time Crete, and is told over many decades of the 20th century. Where The Thread encompassed love and war, The Island uses the fear and shame of leprosy as a backdrop to a love story. It's a very moving book with a sympathetic narration that carries the listener along. Recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda
    9/12/12
    Overall
    "You will get hooked!"

    Lovely book. Nicely told. You get sucked into the island and story and the way of life. And you learn a lot about an illness that in those days we knew little of. Its cruel in parts. But that can be life .......... You want it all to end well. A book not to be missed in my view. It will be one you remembered.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Stroud, United Kingdom
    3/11/12
    Overall
    "Good plot idea, shame about the writing"

    Such a powerful issue deserves so much better writing. The characters are predictable and cardboard - and the writing has no concept of nuance and understatement. The bad guys are too bad, the good guys are too good, and its hard to care about any of them because its all so wooden. Dramatic tension absolutely lacking - and it was just so obvious how it was going to end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Slowest Bookworm
    Stockport, UK
    9/23/08
    Overall
    "The Island"

    I found this book fascinating. Very interesting characters. The locations are beautifully discribed. Lots of facts and information along the way. I couldn't stop listening and was quite disappointed when I got to the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Chelmsford, United Kingdom
    8/29/08
    Overall
    "An engaging and moving story beautifully read"

    An engaging story and beautifully read by Sandra Duncan. Sometimes I have a problem with the voices which narrators use to portray different characters and I found this so with the whiny, shrill tones of the young Anna. But it did point up what an unpleasant and selfish child she was, traits which did not change in adulthood. A very moving story especially of how characters adapted to their new lives on Spinalonga, the prejudices which surround the disease of leprosy and what we can learn from the resilience, understanding and sacrifice of others. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • opinionated
    4/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "compelling reading"
    What did you like most about The Island?

    This book is about an island near crete called spionalonga, tourist who have been to crete may have visited it, as I did many years ago. I was hooked from the first chaper the authors storytelling was so descriptive it took me right back there, to the day we took the little boat trip over to the island. If you can still do this from crete would recommend you do so. The characters in the book are very well portrayed and its a not put down book. 7


    What other book might you compare The Island to, and why?

    the thread and the return by the same author


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I enjoyed the whole book


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes I did it made me both laugh and cry and smile


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Alton, United Kingdom
    11/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enjoyable Listen"

    I enjoyed listening to this book and thought if easy to listen to. I occasionally felt irritation with the narrator when she was speaking in character as I felt the voices came across as whiny, high pitched. However, overall the narration was good otherwise.

    I enjoyed the story and would describe it as a light read as I was always confident of the out come. A perfect book for a holiday, beach read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Samantha
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    7/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful story"

    This was a beautiful story, engaging and full of intrigue. Lots of complex social issues explored in a thought provoking but sensitive manner.

    The narrator was excellent and really brought the story to life.

    Wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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