Did you know that Victoria Hislop has written a sequel to her international bestseller The Island? One August Night entered the Sunday Times Hardback Fiction chart as soon as it was published in October 2020, spending an amazing 12 weeks in the Top 10.
I have recently finished reading One August Night, and believe me, I found it as atmospheric, moving and as poignant as its prequel. It easily took me back in my imagination to Greece, one of my favourite places in the world to visit.
And to mark the recent paperback publication of this beautiful book, I’m giving you the chance to win a copy! But more about that later…
With subtle dramatic tension, One August Night portrays the aftermath of the dark and tragic night in August 1957 that changed a family for ever. I don’t really want to give away any spoilers in case you have not read The Island yet – but believe me, it is brilliant storytelling that will take your breath away.
If you have read The Island, you will recall that it was inspired by Spinalonga, a small, rocky island off the coast of Crete that was once a leper colony. With the discovery of a cure for leprosy in the western world, the colony on Spinalonga was closed for ever. Prior to a cure, the inhabitants of the island were outcast from society. However on the 25th August 1957, these outcasts were reluctantly welcomed back and united with loved ones.
Maria Petrakis, a young woman from the small Cretan village of Plaka is one of the former leper patients returning home. It is very poignant that she has been cured from the devastating disease, especially as her mother Eleni died of leprosy on Spinalonga. Everyone is happy about Maria’s return – everyone apart from her own sister Anna.
In the sequel, Victoria Hislop returns to the story of the Petrakis sisters and the aftermath of their tragic involvement with the Vandoulakis cousins, Manolis and Andreas. One Night in August poignantly explores the impact of that devastating evening on these characters, creating a very character driven novel. I loved this as we the readers are taken on the character’s individual cathartic life journeys as they each try to come to terms with the events of that August night. I have to say, the character of Manolis particularly surprised me – but in a good way.
The novel, rich in history also confronts the ugly truth of having to use ‘stigma as a weapon‘ as it explores sexual abuse and the treatment of prisoners. At times it is unsettling to read, but this enhances the subtle, dramatic tension as well as the important messages I felt Victoria Hislop (pictured above) wanted to convey. This makes this novel a very powerful read.
Once I finished One August Night I felt at a loss. Victoria Hislop’s characters left a deep impression on me and I found myself really missing them. I also missed the Greek atmosphere she created. Whilst reading, I easily imagined the Greek setting in the novel as I, like many tourists, have visited Plaka and Spinalonga when on holiday in Crete. This only enhanced my book hangover.
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the One August Night blog tour to mark its paperback release, which was published Headline on 22nd July. So it’s available for you all now to buy!
But I’m giving you the chance to win your very own copy of One August Night . All you need to do for your chance to win is to follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram (Twitter: @KirstHutchison, Instagram: @noveldelights), retweet or tag yourself in my Instagram post about this giveaway and share the book love. Do this by 4pm on Wednesday 4th August and you’ll have a chance of winning. The winner will be announced later that evening. Please note that this competition is only open to people with a UK address.
Good luck everyone!
And to read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour of One August Night, please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂