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'The Island' A memorable insight into life in a Leper colony

AdvantagesWell drawn charcters and an interesting plot

Disadvantagesnone in my opinion!

"...by Victoria Hislop. I am reviewing the paperback format of the novel. It contains 496 pages, ISBN 978-0755309511, was first published 10/04/2006 and the genre classification is Modern Fiction. RRP £7.99 The Island is the first novel from Victoria Hislop. ==The Plot== Alexis Fielding is a modern twenty five year old woman. She has a degree in archeology and a consuming interest in the past, a trait she shares with her father, Marcus. Alexis mother, ..." Read review

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Community Level 3SandyJoe


The island of no-return Review with images

AdvantagesA gripping and fascinating read

DisadvantagesSlightly weak beginning, but perserve past chapter 2!

"I love reading, but in the last few months I've found it hard to find the time or the energy to read anything other than a newspaper or magazine. Then whilst reading the "Metro" on the way to work last month I spotted a review on this book by debut novelist Victoria Hislop. I registered that it was about Spinalonga, a now uninhabited island off the coast of northern Crete, where from 1903 to 1957 Greek lepers were banished with no hope of ever returning ..." Read review

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Deathly Disease

Advantagesfascinating story, good characters

Disadvantagesloads of descriptions

"The young English woman Alexis plans a trip to Greece with her fiancé which will also include Crete, she asks her mother whether she'd mind her paying a visit to the village where she's from. Her mother Sofia is from Crete, but strangely and incomprehensibly, she's always been reticent about her past, an old photo of a Greek couple on her night table is the only reminder of her Greek past. To Alexis' surprise her mother doesn't evade her as usual ..." Read review

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Community Level 5imogen49


Greek Tragedy

AdvantagesEasy read, fascinating location

Disadvantagesunauthentic feel to natives, structure of book

"...read. This time, Victoria Hislop, the wife of Ian of Private Eye and "Have I Got News For You" fame, authors this book. I believe this is her debut book and has none of the satirical leanings of her husband. If that were what you are expecting then you would be very disappointed. She is a journalist in her own right, after all, so any comment on her husband is really completely unnecessary. But I thought I would point it out as it is an unusual surname ..." Read review

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The Island, not so idyllic...

AdvantagesGreat read, good ending

DisadvantagesQuite a lengthy book

"...Island~~ This book is based on the Greek Island of Crete and the mysterious Spinalonga which is a small island off the Plaka coast. I live in Cyprus so I thought it would be a nice summer read which I could read on the Greek Cypriot beaches to help the book enlighten me into Greek culture and an area of Greece I would now like to visit. The book was not a normal choice for me as I tend to read the true stories and sad novels, however when I was recommended ..." Read review

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Spinalonga - An island with a history - the Island by V. Hislop

AdvantagesEasy to read, inteesting story with lovely setting

DisadvantagesNot a lot of action if you want that in the book - for me none

"The Island The version I am reviewing is a paperback published by Headline Book Publishing with 373 pages.This novel is the debut novel of Victoria Hislop, wife of Ian Hislop the editor of Private Eye. Prior to her novel writing she was a travel journalist and both this book and her next novel, 'The Return' are based in foreign lands, Crete and Spain respectively. The Island is an international bestseller not sure if this was helped by he fact that ..." Read review

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Community Level 5parker-munn


The Island

AdvantagesClearly written. Nice progression.

DisadvantagesSome tragedy but it all might end in something good, is that naive?

"At the time I went to spend my Christmas gift book tokens "The Island" was top of the paperback best sellers and that was why I bought it. The bookseller tried to put me off it, he said it was by that Hislop woman who he thought was the wife of some obnoxious T.V. critic. In fact it's by Victoria Hislop who writes travel features for the Sunday Telegraph, parenting and education for the Daily Telegraph and general features for Woman and Home. I don't ..." Read review

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'The Island' - Definitely worth a read.

AdvantagesHistorical knowledge, Beautiful storyline, Vivid Characters

DisadvantagesAnyone who dislikes history may not enjoy the historical aspects

"...that a large amount of the geography within the novel was hard for me to comprehend. I read it over summer and although I hugely enjoyed it, I largely forgot about it. Over Christmas I once again found the novel, and decided to reread it, and I honestly think reading it at a slightly older age (I'm now 19) helped me to take a lot more from the novel. My knowledge of history and geography had broadened and I therefore took a lot from the novel. The ..." Read review

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Community Level 2laukez88


The Island is not worth it's hype

AdvantagesGood escapism

Disadvantageshackneyed plot, not believable

"...this book in desparartion at the library having run out of books to read. A friend recommended it so while it isn't normally what I would choose I thought I would give it a go. The story is that of A young woman, Alexis who seeks to discover what her mother has hidden about her family for all her life. While on holiday in Crete with her boyfriend who she is unsure about continuing the relationship with Alexis visits on old friend of her mother's in ..." Read review

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Community Level 1mel_savva

Quick review of The Island - Victoria Hislop

"This is the book that got me back into reading. a very vividly detailed story about a young girls history. From great grandmother, grandma, her sister, the mother and then daughter. two sisters grow up without their mother, as she is on a leper island (and you learn all about her life there) and the daughters hardships, fornication, lust, loyalty, infidelity... totally gripping with a great ending. I wasnt able to put the book down and even gasped when i learned of events within the book. an excellent read with heart, and its not hard reading. lots of pages, but not hard reading. a love story too without all the muck. murder without all the who did it. despair without wanting to fall asleep. highly recommended

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Community Level 3Wisegirl



AdvantagesA fantastic Read

Disadvantages Only that it is hard to put down !

"...to be disappointed. Set on the Greek Island of Crete and the Island of Spinalonga (north coast of Crete) which was a leper colony from 1903-1957. I am interested in family history as is Alexis who is puzzled about her Mother Sophia's family history. Her quest takes her to Crete and Spinalonga to uncover the tragic truth about her mother's family. The novel has love, deceit, life,death, happiness and much sadness. Leprosy is not an illness we ..." Read review

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Community Level 1Crowdpleaser


Not how I expected it to be but brilliant!

AdvantagesA thought provoking and entertaining Read

DisadvantagesRichard and Judy Book Club tag might put people off!

"...Tesco just because I liked the front cover. Probably not the greatest method of selected stuff to stimulate the grey matter but thats how I work! This is the story of the island of Spinalonga, the Cretain Leper colony. Everything written about Spinalong as far as I can make out is true. However the writer has humanised it by giving us a survivors story to enjoy (a bit of a James Cameron's Titanic story really!). It is about a girls trip to Greece ..." Read review

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Community Level 2bec54


Fantastic first novel for Victoria Hislop!

AdvantagesVery atmosheric - felt as though I was living it with the main characters

DisadvantagesMade me cry

"...it comes to looking at the paperback charts in WhSmiths. This book was one that I had bought myself and also received as a Christmas present from her, and I found it very difficult to put down and she found the same after borrowing it. Normally, you can tell when you've picked up an author's first novel, but this left me thinking well after closing the last page, and made me go away and do my own research into the Island of Spinalonga. Victoria ..." Read review

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Community Level 1AliGrace


The Island

AdvantagesSatisfying and invites the reader to feel an array of emotions throughout.

DisadvantagesFinishing it, I had no other books with me!

"...one of those let downs. The narrative travels back through time to tell the story of Alexis's ancestors, giving her the answers she needs in order her gain courage to move on with her life in the present day. The plot moved fast enough to keep you interested in the absorbing story. It was marked with tragedy throughout but with enough glimmers of hope to prevent it from becoming tiring and depressing. The theme of hope adds an emotive depth to ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: somewhat helpful

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