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June 22, 2024
Literair overzicht

The Island – A weeping song of life and death

The Island is the first full-length novel by British author Victoria Hislop, published in 2005. The Island tells the story of the Petkis family, represented on the Greek island of Crete, as they struggle against leprosy. From despair to hope, from pain to light, the Petkis family moves forward, searching, until they are reborn.

The story begins with Alexis, a young woman of twenty-five, who is somewhat confused about her relationship with her boyfriend, Ed, and finds herself in a completely different category from him, and has no confidence in their future. Alexis is envious of her parents’ relationship, but she has always felt that her mother is very secretive and tight-lipped about her past. During her trip to Greece, she decides to explore the forbidden places in her mother’s psyche – Bukara in the Aegean Sea, a place that Europeans talk about with horror.

It turns out that both Alexis’ great-grandmother and her aunt Maria had suffered from leprosy and were imprisoned with other patients on the small island of Spinalongo. Her grandmother, Maria’s sister Anna, was fortunate not to have contracted leprosy and was lucky enough to marry a local nobleman, but was victimized by her own personality and did something to betray her husband, who was murdered by her angry husband.

The novel storyline twists and turns, the fate of the characters, the selfish sister Anna is healthy, the first half of her life is very lucky, but the end is very tragic. The sister, who has a harmonious nature and is diligent and filial, is unfortunately infected with leprosy, just like her mother, and suffers from the coldness and betrayal of her fiancé, but in the end, with the help of the doctor, she miraculously recovers and finds her true love and lives happily ever after.

Hope and rebirth are the main themes of the book. The inhabitants of the leprosy-stricken island, in spite of the pain of the disease and the foreseeable death of their lives, still put their place in order. They elected the island master, set up hospitals, schools, streets, restaurants and apartments with all the facilities needed by normal residents. For some of them, they lived happier in a place that outsiders feared.

This is a book that you can’t stop reading, and the story has a surprising ending. It is said that within two months of its release, the book was on the bestseller list and became a worldwide hit, overpowering “Harry Potter” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


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