In the Blood of the Greeks: Intertwined Souls Series, Book 1 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/3/25
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It is the winter of 1942 in the Greek town of Larissa. The peaceful life of the town has given away to the chaos of war. Two girls, one Greek, the other German, come together in an unlikely union to save the lives of Jews targeted by the Nazis. Fourteen year old Zoe Lambros' faith in God is shattered after her mother's death at the hands of the German Commander. She determines to defy the enemy in every way she can--including a festering urge to kill the German Commander's daughter, Eva Muller. Eva Muller has a tortured past, and a secret, if revealed, will lead to certain death at the hands of her father. Despite knowing the risk, Eva is working with the village priest to help the Jews escape. With her activities closely observed, Eva needs help to continue the clandestine operation. Zoe Lambros is not who Eva has in mind but they have to put aside their mutual antipathy to each other and work together. They know that one wrong move will put an end to their lives.
Mary lives in Australia and has been writing since she was eight when she rewrote her favourite tv shows when stories didn't quite end up the way she wanted. Sometimes in a world of her own, she relished the quiet to invent new stories and worlds. Mary has written non-fiction articles for Australian and US magazines but her first love is fiction. When she's not writing, she's designing sites, creating art or being chief editor/owner of AUSXIP.com You can find Mary's author site at http: //www.nextchapter.net or her fiction series site at http: //intertwinedsouls.nextchapter.n
Though there have been many novels relating the tragedy of WW II, few have had the courage to concentrate on the Greek aspect. Larissa is one of the oldest settlements in Greece with artifacts uncovered dating at least the Neolithic period (6000 BC). The name means "stronghold" in ancient Greek. It was also the head of the Thessalian League during the Hellenistic and Roman era. Today, it's a modern city and is Thessaly's capital. It was a site of a concentration camp during the war. It is here that Mary places her story, echoing not only the horrors but also the secrets, passions and destinies that define her novel. This we sense in her Prologue April 16, 1941 `Thunder boomed overhead and across the valley as the night sky was lit up with exploding artillery shells in the hills surrounding the small farming town of Larissa, Greece. This once sleepy town was the scarred battlefield between the Allies who were defending the town and the oncoming juggernaut that was the German army. When the Italians tried to invade Greece, the invaders had been defeated. Great jubilation had resulted in a joyous celebration that stretched for days. In the town, the pride over the news that the Italians had been beaten back flourished amidst the sorrow for the fallen. But after the euphoria of the victory against the Italian invaders had faded, the Greek government realized that the Axis powers had not been defeated, only stalled. The government stumbled from one crisis to another, trying to starve off the inevitable. What they feared the most happened in the spring of 1941, a day that many Greeks had been anxiously anticipating for months. The Germans had arrived at the outskirts of Larissa and were raging through the hills and valleys like hungry locusts. The British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers kept the Germans at bay until they could hold them no longer, and now a retreat was in progress. Burning cars, trucks, and bodies of soldiers and Greeks littered the roadways as the battles continued. A young girl stood outside on a clear night, gazing at Mount Ossa in the distance. The sound of falling shells and the rumble of tanks thundered in the background. Zoe Lambros looked up into the heavens for a long moment.' So we meet Zoe and then Eva - `Eva was Major Han Muller's crippled daughter, a tall, dark haired, blue-eyed young woman of twenty-two. She glanced at her cane, which was leaning against the wall, and shook her head slightly at her predicament... She hated Larissa. She hated the backward villagers who didn't bother to hide their hatred. She knew she would; that wasn't the surprise. She wasn't sure if the villagers pitied her or out rightly despised her on her sojourns outside.'
The story takes place between 1942 to 1947. `In war ravaged Greece under German occupation that was destroying every manifestation of individuality comes the story of two women making difficult choices. They meet under extraordinary circumstances. Zoe Lambros and Eva Muller go through a great deal of hardship but their experiences are entirely different. There is no question they hate each other from the moment they meet. The war is not only surrounding them, but their souls and needs also have to fight a great battle. This beautiful story about sacrifice, pain, broken innocence and love that no one was anticipating. Eva and Zoe must work together and overcome their hatred for each other while facing down their own demons. Hatred turns to friendship as they find common ground while helping Jews escape from the Nazis.' A brilliant visit to a horrible time written with courage to reflect on the suffering of homosexuals whose fate was so often that of the Jews and gypsies and other undesirables in Hitler's mind. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, April 15
“In the Blood of the Greeks” is the first book of the Intertwined Souls series by Mary Brooks. The book has two major protagonists, Zoe Lambros and Eva Muller, two young women with differing backgrounds. As the name of the series implies, their varying stories soon become one. The story is something of a romance between the two characters, but Brooks’ ability to write dramatic historical fiction allows the story to become much, much more.
A fair amount of the drama stems from the stories of the characters themselves. Eva is a German who wishes to help Jews escape from German occupation in the Greek village of Larissa. She is united with Zoe by Larissa’s village priest, Father Panayiotis Haralambos. While Zoe has every reason to despise a person of Eva’s heritage, having lost her family and much else to the occupation. Even so, the importance of a greater cause is enough to help them overcome their differences.
There is an honesty to the characters that makes it especially easy to read their stories. This is especially true of Zoe, whose youth and innocence comes across in much of her dialogue. That is not to say that she is immature, but simply that she has ways of saying things that an older character might phrase differently. This speaks to Mary Brooks’ abilities as a writer, in that she can write dialogue which is incredibly convincing and use it to craft a moving story. While this is the only book I have read in the series, her linguistic capabilities in this installment are enough to make me think that I will likely be checking out her second Intertwined Souls book, “Where Shadows Linger,” sometime in the near future.