Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

Title: When the Cypress Whispers
Author: Yvette Manessis Corporon
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Contemporary, Greece
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

On a beautiful Greek island, myths, magic, and a colorful cast of characters come together in a lushly atmospheric story about past and present, family and fate, love and dreams that poignantly captures the deep bond between an American woman and her Greek grandmother

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne aspires to the American Dream, yet feels as if she's been sleepwalking through life. Caught between her family's old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career, she cannot seem to find her place.

Only her beloved grandmother on Erikousa, a magical island off the coast of Greece, knows her heart. Daphne's fondest memories are of times spent in the kitchen with Yia-yia, cooking and learning about the ancient myths. It was the thought of Yia-yia that consoled Daphne in the wake of her husband's unexpected death.

After years of struggling to raise her child and pay the bills, Daphne now has a successful restaurant, a growing reputation as a chef, and a wealthy fianc?-everything she's ever wanted. But across the ocean, Yia-yia can see through the storybook perfection of Daphne's new life- and now she is calling her back to Erikousa. She has secrets about the past to share with her granddaughter- stories from the war, of loyalty and bravery in the face of death. She also has one last lesson to teach her: that security is not love, and that her life can be filled with meaning again.

Erikousa was a refuge for Daphne.  Spending summers with her grandmother, listening to the old myths, and finally being able to be herself.  But many years later Daphne is grown up, and she is finally returning to her refuge after many years.  Only now she is truly an American - running her own restaurant, 5 year old daughter in tow, and engaged to a wealthy banker.  She thinks she's finally made it.

When the Cypress Whispers shows that sometimes what you think you want isn't what you really want.  It takes us back to Daphne's Greek roots.  While there is no huge action scene or great mystery, the story unfolds beautifully.  Through Daphne's grandmother and friends she is able to reconnect with the stories she knew so well as a child and learn new ones, real ones, a part of her history that is inspiring but immensely sad at the same time.

The story isn't just about Daphne, it is also about her daughter who seems adrift when she first arrives in Greece.  She was adorable and watching her come out of her shell while surrounded by her extended family was a lot of fun.  There's a bit of a love story, but it's not a romance and it's hidden deep for most of the story.  Now that spring is here and the weather is getting warmer, this would be the perfect book to enjoy with a cool drink and a fresh breeze.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

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