Ionian Storms: War, Quakes and Discord On the Island of Cephalonia
During WW2, two former allies, the Germans and the Italians, fought a little-known, mini-war on the island of Cephalonia, with tragic consequences for the local inhabitants and catastrophic ones for the Italians. The period of foreign occupation was followed by bitter civil strife which lasted a good seven years. And then, as the Cephalonians had, at last, started to rebuild their lives, the earthquakes of 1953 destroyed not just their towns and villages, but the very cultural fibre of their society. The story runs in parallel to the active involvement, during this entire period, of a remarkable woman, who had landed on Cephalonia in the middle of the war, armed only with her violin. The narration, which makes liberal use of her witty diaries, follows her as she experienced, and empathized with, the plight of the common people and, through her direct actions, became for many a beacon of hope and a safe haven.
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Oct 1, 2013Having just come back from a holiday on Cephalonia, I downloaded "Ionian Storms" onto my ipad as I really enjoy historical novels that are based on fact. It's skillfully written, economical in style and full of subdued humour and nuances. The colourful characters leap out from the pages and the heroine, Helen, is a truly unforgettable woman, a will-do person who faced the many agonizing dilemmas and impossible situations of her times with immense courage and fortitude. I couldn’t put it down!
Feb 1, 2013Clarion Review Ionian Storms: War, Quakes and Discord on the Island of Cephalonia/ Nicholas Enessee 978-1-105-68547-7/Three Stars (out of Five) For those whose only knowledge of the Greek island of Cephalonia comes from watching Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Nicholas Enessee’s new book Ionian Storms: War, Quakes and Discord on the Island of Cephalonia promises to be an eye opener. Enessee neither shies away from nor celebrates the very issues that many found controversial in the film and novel about the fictional Corelli. Enessee’s nonfiction narrative gives an account of a particularly devastating period in Cephalonian history and also includes excerpts from the diary of a woman named Helen, whose life story is entwined with that of the island. Together, those histories form a well-rounded tale of a time of severe hardship in Cephalonia. Although Enessee provides relevant background information about earlier days, he concentrates here on the period from just before World War II through... More > the 1950s, years of immense turmoil on the island. One of the seven main Ionian Islands, Cephalonia was taken over by the Italian army in 1941, when Axis forces occupied Greece. Later, in 1943, Germany seized the island from the Italians. Enessee stresses the strength and resilience of the island’s native population as the people rally against occupation, and he does not hide or minimize their bitterness. He includes significant and striking detail, and the story he tells is both revelatory and noteworthy. As he discusses the rise of the Communist party in Greece he clearly shows the consequences of the Greek Civil War and its further destruction of the island. When he writes of the devastating earthquake of 1953, he makes it easy to wonder why anyone left on the island did not simply give up and leave. In Helen, a well-educated Londoner of Greek extraction who married a Greek man and moved to Cephalonia, Enessee succeeds in presenting both a balance and a foil to his historical account. She serves as both an outsider and an insider in the telling of his story, and without her perspective the tale would be less balanced. What Enessee has to say in Ionian Storms is both informative and important. His book includes a Greek perspective that Americans who have based their information about Cephalonia on films and novels may have missed. Ionian Storms is an intense, gripping story. Cheryl Hibbard< Less
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- S.N. Cosmetatos (Standard Copyright License)
- Second Edition
- January 30, 2013
- File Format
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- 272.89 KB
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