The House on Paradise Street, Paperback Book

The House on Paradise Street Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Athens, 1942 - two sisters divided by politics and tragedy...In 2008 Antigone Perifanis returns to her old family home in Athens after 60 years in exile.

She has come to attend the funeral of her only son, Nikitas, who was born in prison, and whom she has not seen since she left him as a baby.

Nikitas had been distressed in the days before his death and, curious to find out why, his English widow Maud starts to investigate his complicated past.

In so doing, she finds herself reigniting a bitter family feud, discovering a heartbreaking story of a young mother caught up in the political tides of the Greek Civil War and forced to make a terrible decision that would blight not only her life but that of future generations...The House on Paradise Street is an epic tale of love and loss, which takes readers from the war-torn streets of Nazi-occupied Athens through the military junta years and on into the troubled city of recent times - and shows what happens when ideology threatens to subsume our sense of humanity.


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This is a gripping story told in alternating chapters through the voices of Antigone Perifanis, a Greek communist who has been in exile in Russia since the end of the Greek civil war, and Maud Perifanis, an English woman living in Greece. At the start of the book, these two come together through the death of Nikitas - Maud's husband and Antigone's son. As the story unfolds, the horrific impact of WW11 and the Greek civil war on the Greek population is revealed through events in the Perifanis family. The story is closely influenced by actual events and a lot of historical detail is narrated through the main characters so the writing is more reminiscent of a memoir or biography than a novel. Nonetheless, Zinovieff deftly explores the themes of mourning [loss of loved ones] and melancholia [loss of homeland] of the two central characters. One for Grecophiles.

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