09 Nov Book review: One Summer in Crete by Nadia Marks
I expected a light-hearted romance read in the sun set on a Greek island. What I got was so much more. One Summer in Crete is a tale of love and heartbreak; loss, trauma and healing; pushing yourself out of your comfort zone; reconnecting with family; finding yourself and purpose in life; and of course, finding romance.
The book made me feel so many things from sadness, to anger and joy. One Summer in Crete starts off with Calli, who is half Greek on her mom’s side and half British. She grew up with her parents and brother in London; and spent childhood summers in Crete getting to know her Greek family, the culture and the island.
As a teenager Calli’s grandmother passed away and she stopped visiting her Crete family as often as she used to. It was just too hard for her.
She meets James in her 20s and enters into a 10-year relationship believing they were the perfect match with the same future goals, but she starts doubting this. After a traumatic life event, Calli finds herself with little motivation to carry on. Being a freelance writer and photographer, a big publication sends her on assignment to a Greek Island and she sees this as an opportunity to get some distance from the situation and to start healing. She meets a group of people that she would never be friends with back home. They have alternative lifestyles and is open-minded about the universe and life in general. Surprisingly, they all become good friends and Calli starts healing and embracing all life has to offer.
After the assignment she heads to Crete to catch up with family and it’s even more important when she hears that her aunt, Froso, is ill. Once there, her aunt seems in good health, but she confides to Calli that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fearful of dying, Froso, wants to tell her sister, Eleni, and Calli the family secret she’s been carrying since she was a teenager… The secret is heart-breaking!
Whilst processing her aunt’s secret, Calli is still healing from her own trauma, but making friends and loving the slow living of island life. She also meets a couple of possible romantic partners, each teaching her about herself and relationships.
We watch Calli grow, reconnect with family and ultimately, finding her way back to herself.
One Summer in Crete is the perfect summer read. Pop it in your beach bag or enjoy it on the couch.