The Cleaner of Kastoria
Paperback, 332 Pages
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The Cleaner of Kastoria enters the past and present of Dina,a young village girl whose wild decision sets her on an unforgetable odyssey through the horrors and tragedy of the Greek civil war. Leading her Democratic Army unit of girls through icy rivers and bloody battles she is haunted by memories of her young husband. Dina still guards her dark secrets in the aftermath of the Colonels' dictatorship of 1974. As a housecleaner Dina faces her final challenge from Vassiliki the monarchist.
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Jan 12, 2017I found The Cleaner of Kastoria a really good read. It's a human story about Dina, the cleaner of the title, which tells how her involvement in the Greek Civil War of 1946 to 1949 affected her whole life. Dina maybe a fictional character, but her story indicates a lot of firsthand research by the author, Jacqueline Paizis, and I think she must have met a"Dina" in the course of that research. The story is told as Dina remembers the hardships she and her fellow guerilla fighters went through. Bit by bit throughout the novel we see just how her whole life was affected. It's part love story and also a tale of mystery where we don't know quite how it will all work out until the end of the book. Recommended. Peter Hunt
Oct 28, 2016Before reading Jacqueline's novel I knew very little about the Greek civil war and now on completion this has been addressed to some extent. I found myself becoming very involved in the story line and also found it a very hard book to put down, I greatly admired Dina and all the other young women many of whom gave their lives in fighting for what they believed to be right. It is such a great thing that their story has been told, their struggles recognised and honoured. I found myself reflecting on their situation for days after I had finished reading the book. The 'twist' in the story is very cleverly carried through with Vassiliki redressing the balance. Jacqueline should be congratulated on her skills and commitment in writing such a novel. Despite the legacy of these terrible experiences, there remains a sense of hope Evy, Dina's granddaughter has now grown up and will I feel take over where her grandmother leaves off. I shall look forward to reading other novels by this author
Oct 14, 2016Jacqueline Paizis has written a book which is partly based on events during the Greek civil war at the end of WW2. This is a little known period in history (outside Greece) which was greatly affected by the post-war carve-up of Europe agreed between the UK, USA and USSR. The historical storyline of the book shows how Greek partisans fought the establishment of a supine and right wing regime in their country, after years of fighting German occupying troops. It clearly shows how women play an equal, and leading, role in fighting injustice when the chips are really down. I found it extremely informative. The 'present day' storyline was well conceived and made it a hard book to put down, I actually cared what happened to the characters. The twist in the tale was a bit surprising and I found myself wondering if Vassiliki would actually make such a decision (you will have to read the book to find out what that is), though his family come across as worthy of being stabbed in the back! The... More > author has clearly got a feel for life in a small Greek town in the period, a result of genuine research with real Greek women of the time. Definitely worth a read.< Less
Sep 27, 2016"As a Greek I know there were terrible thinks done on both sides in the civil war. In this novel, Dina was not helped by the goverment when she returned fron Skopje and this legally continious today here in Greece. Two things stand out for me about this book. Firstly, it is the cinematic, especially the portrayal of characters like Vassiliki, the Monarchist. Secondly,this book it needs to be translated into Greek. There are many Greaks who would appreciate readind this." Connie Bacoulaki Jenkins, Kefalonia, Greece
Sep 21, 2016There has been so little coverage of the Greek Civil War (compared to the Spanish Civil War, for example) and this excellent work goes some way to redressing the balance. The story focusses on Dina and her involvement, as a young village girl, in the civil war itself (which was at the end of WWII) and then nearly 30 years later, when she is the housecleaner to Vassiliki, who fought on the other side as a monarchist. It is powerful account which weaves the real historical events with the mainly fictional, but highly plausible, story of Dina. The general approach is pacey and highly readable. You definitely don't need to be a student of history to follow the account, but it is certainly thought provoking to find that Greece's struggle for democracy at that time was ultimately doomed to fail under the weight of Western political and economic interests - a pattern that has been repeated more recently. In short this is an excellent read and I look forward to further works by this author.... More > Great stuff!!< Less
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- Standard Copyright License
- First Edition
- June 6, 2016
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.23 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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