Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: When The Cypress Whispers

Author: Yvette Manessis Corporon
Title: When The Cypress Whispers
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: 
On a beautiful Greek island, myths, magic, and a colorful cast of mortals come together in a lushly atmospheric debut celebrating the powerful bond between an American woman and her Greek grandmother.

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne has been brought up to believe in the American dream. When her husband dies in a car accident, leaving her with an inconsolable baby and stacks of bills, she channels everything she has into opening her own Greek restaurant. Now an acclaimed chef and restaurateur, she has also found a second chance at love with her wealthy, handsome fiancé.

Although American by birth, Daphne spent many blissful childhood summers on the magical Greek island of Erikousa, which her grandmother still calls home. At her Yia-yia’s side, she discovered her passion for cooking and absorbed the vibrant rhythms of island life, infused with ancient myths and legends lovingly passed down through generations. Somehow her beloved grandmother could always read her deepest thoughts, and despite the miles between them Daphne knows Yia-yia is the one person who can look beyond Daphne’s storybook life of seeming perfection to help her stay grounded. With her wedding day fast approaching, Daphne returns to Erikousa and to Yia-yia’s embrace.

The past and the present beautifully entwine in this glorious, heartfelt story about a woman trapped between the siren call of old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career and relationship. When Daphne arrives on Erikousa with her daughter, Evie, in tow, nothing is the way she recalls it, and she worries that her elderly Yia-yia is losing her grip on reality. But as the two of them spend time together on the magical island once again, her grandmother opens up to share remarkable memories of her life there—including moving stories of bravery and loyalty in the face of death during World War II—and Daphne remembers why she returned. Yia-yia has more than one lesson to teach her: that security is not the same as love, that her life can be filled with meaning again, and that the most important magic to believe in is the magic of herself.

Review:  When The Cypress Whispers is truly one of the most beautiful and beautifully written works of women's fiction that I've read in quite a long time.

Yvette brings the Greek island, Erikousa and all its inhabitants to life. This is possibly the most vivid novel that I've read. I really felt like this book was a feast for all of the senses. Everything just came to life for me as I read.

I loved Yia-yia. She was the kind of grandmother that we all dream of having. Her relationships with Daphne and her daughter, Evie help to make this novel such a wonderful read.

The story is about relationships and dreams and how sometimes the dreams we have have aren't necessarily the one's that are right for us. When Daphne comes back to the island she learns that the money she thinks is so important, really isn't.

We get wonderful snapshots of Daphne's life growing up, both on the island and in New York. You get to see her relationships with the men in her life, her first husband, Alex, her fiance, Stephen and her grandmother's young friend Yianni.

I felt bad for Stephen for part of the book, knowing early on that it wasn't likely that he would end up marrying Daphne, but then there was a scene where they were discussing Yia Yia and a nursing home, and I knew right then and there, that I hated him,

This was a wonderful read that left me with tears in my eyes towards the end. A lot of tears.  The actual ending came as quite a surprise. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting.

Definitely one of this year's must read books, perfect for the summer reading season.

Rating: 5 flowers



Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Sounds like a lovely book! I'm glad you enjoyed it. If I weren't so swamped, I'd add it to my reading list.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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