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Five Greece-Inspired Books to Read on Vacation

A Book Lying by the Sea in Greece
Five Greece-Inspired Books to Read on Vacation. Credit: Mary Rybachuk / Greek Reporter

Greece offers not only an abundance of wonderful vacation destinations but also plenty of charming, funny, and bittersweet stories captured by various authors.

The authors of these five books were inspired by Greece and brought it to life in their writing through their narratives. Whether renowned or rising in fame, these stories make great vacation companions, filling your days with warm Greek notes wherever you may be.

Five Greece-inspired books to enjoy on vacation

1. Everything Beautiful Began After

Simon Vay Booy’s poetic novel weaves a tale of adulting and the loss of loved ones, poignant memories against the background of hot Athens. The relationships of three main characters balance on the verge of friendship and romance. Their destinies become intertwined on the streets of the ancient city that become a guide in their turbulent search for a sense of self.

2. My Family and Other Animals

Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical novel shares the humorous story of his family on the island of Corfu in the 1930s. Adventures in a strawberry-pink villa surrounded by cypress trees and an exciting variety of animals grew into the Corfu Trilogy, which became a bestseller. This heartwarming story was filmed three times and even entered the school curriculum in England.

Durrell became a prominent naturalist, expeditionist, and the founder of the Jersey Wildlife Conservation Trust. His older brother, Lawrence, also became a famous writer, best known for his Alexandrine Quartet novels.

3. Nights of Rain and Stars

A touching story by a famous Irish writer, Maeve Binchy, tells of the transience of time and a search for answers to eternal questions. Strangers from different parts of the world meet at a Greek taverna on a quiet island strewn with pink rocks. However, their idyllic vacation is interrupted by a tragedy that causes them to grow closer to each other and alter their perspectives on life.

4. The Island

The main character, Alex Fielding, starts a journey to Crete to delve into her mother’s past. Amidst the mountains and blue sea, she unearths her ancestors’ legacy and secrets beneath prosperity’s veil. In exploring the island, Alex discovers how it shaped her kin and uncovers hidden truths.

The novel was translated into more than twenty languages and gained world-wide acclaim. Its famous English author, Victoria Hislop, won Discovery of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007. She continued to sing of her love for Greece on the pages of her next novels, including The Thread, Those Who Are Loved and One Night in August. For her commendable promotion of Greek history and culture, evident in the themes of her stories, Hislop was made an honorary citizen of Greece.

5. Sputnik Sweetheart

One of Haruki Murakami’s early novels explores the topics of conformity, loneliness, and same-sex love. The main part of the story takes place on an unnamed Greek island, which becomes a scene for the web of endless conversations of heroes and their riddles. The novel has become a classic of modern Japanese literature and a kind of mysterious anthem for lonely people.

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