To the Island

Meaghan Delahunt

To the Island

In search of her father Andreas, whom she has never met, Lena travels with her small son from Australia to Greece. On the island of Naxos she finds him, a wary, tormented man living in self-imposed exile. Slowly Lena unlocks the secrets of her father's past, and in getting to know him begins to understand the grim realities of contemporary Greek history. Like many politically active Greeks, Andreas was arrested and tortured during the rule of the Colonels in the sixties, disappearing for several years without trace. 3.4 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
To the Island

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 261
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication June 2011
ISBN 978-1847081810
Publisher Granta
 

In search of her father Andreas, whom she has never met, Lena travels with her small son from Australia to Greece. On the island of Naxos she finds him, a wary, tormented man living in self-imposed exile. Slowly Lena unlocks the secrets of her father's past, and in getting to know him begins to understand the grim realities of contemporary Greek history. Like many politically active Greeks, Andreas was arrested and tortured during the rule of the Colonels in the sixties, disappearing for several years without trace.

Reviews

The Times

Kate Saunders

A wise and compassionate novel, beautifully written.

11/06/2011

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The Financial Times

Katie Roiphe

Any attempt to convey the plot of Meaghan Delahunt’s To the Island will inevitably make it sound more earnest and sentimental than it is. It is a tale of recovery, of people who go through very bad things and then get better, in a limited and circumscribed way. It has more in common with a novel by Jean Rhys or Ernest Hemingway than the usual story of recovery; there is nothing flowery or girlish or cheap here. The writing is spare, sinewy; the mood goes from dark to a little less dark.

17/06/2011

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The Guardian

Susanna Rustin

Closely focused on this one relationship, and relying on just two strands of narrative, the novel is simpler in story and structure than both her previous books ... In some ways the new novel benefits from this narrower scope. Delahunt is at ease with her Greek location, and without minor characters or subplots to worry about she dedicates herself to working through the heightened emotions the novel is concerned with. But this approach also leaves her exposed, and in a novel all about an absent father, Lena's failure to think at all about her son's lack of connection to his own father, a friend with whom she had a one-night stand, is a bad mistake.

01/07/2011

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The Scotsman

Lesley McDowell

Delahunt's short, jaggy prose makes for a style that can seem stilted at the beginning, especially when she is trying to establish a convincing and appealing interior life for the troubled Lena. Truncated sentences hint at portentousness, but instead they give way to more banal observations, and too many statements of the obvious about how she is feeling. But then, when father and daughter come together, this stylistic stiltedness mirrors exactly the state of relations between them ...

29/05/2011

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