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The Long Shadow [Paperback]

Loretta Proctor
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 3.01  
Paperback 6.28  
Paperback, 27 Dec 2005 --  

Book Description

27 Dec 2005
The city lay in a beautiful bay. As the sun rose we began to see the sprawl of little Turkish houses clambering the steep slopes, painted in rosy pink, mauve, white, yellow, blue. The white domes of the Greek churches glistened in the fresh morning sunshine. The Long Shadow is compelling historical novel which tells the human story of the Eastern campaign in Salonika and will appeal to readers of The Island and The Thread. Fourteen-year-old Andrew discovers his mother's hidden diary at his grandmother's house during a Christmas holiday. His eyes are opened to a family secret when he reads about her time as a nurse on Salonika during the First World War, and the tragic love affair she had with his father, a Greek officer, who died in battle. Four years later Andrew is compelled to visit his father's country and trace his roots. What - and whom - he meets there will change his life forever. The Long Shadow is filled with descriptions of Greece and its people, dramatic images of battles and the terrible conditions endured by the allied armies fighting around Salonika. The Long Shadow illuminates a period of history not often featured in fiction and is highly topical as we approach the centenary of WW1 in 2014.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (27 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1424101093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1424101092
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 10.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,344,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Cairo, Egypt, I came to Britain during winter and saw my first view of snow! My English Dad fell in love with my beautiful Greek Mum in Athens during the war and wrote her a forty page love-letter when fighting in the desert so I guess writing is in my genes! I wrote my first novel in an exercise-book at sixteen and many others after that but then gave up writing for a long time. Now retired and living in Malvern,the muse has returned. I've since written and published The Long Shadow,The Crimson Bed, Middle Watch and Dying Phoenix.

The Long Shadow will be published in Greek by later this year and is now in its third English edition, printed by Matador It is also available as a Kindle edition. My favourite story and dear to my Greek heart! Next year will see the centenary of WW1 and this novel explores the Eastern Campaign in Salonika, a theatre of the war seldom discussed or explored. I hope that many people will now take an interest in this 'sideshow' of the Great War - which was anything but that.

The sequel to The Long Shadow is my story, Dying Phoenix. This story is set in Greece during the time of the Colonels' takeover in April 1967. I began this story a while ago but it is now oddly apt considering the present dilemmas faced by the Greek people.

Product Description


'Immensely impressed by this novel, especially the Greek scenes. It's a marvellously accomplished book.' --Colin Wilson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st world war greece 22 Mar 2006
There are some books which are a fair read, some which are a good read, and some which are unputdownable. This book falls in to the latter category. It is beautifully crafted and extremely well researched. The tension steadily increases as we near the end. A young boy discovers his mother's secret diary and finds it compelling. The narrative is in diary format and the story in the first half is about his mother in 1st world war Salonica. The second half covers the son's adventures which bring the book to an exciting conclusion. You really feel as if you were there. Congratulations - we look forward to more books by this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shadow of Circumstance 25 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is largely based on a diary of a nurse stationed in Salonika during the First World War, and the effect of illicitly reading that diary on her son, Andrew. His solitary recovery of the events in this diary illuminates both his inheritance, and his current relationships, casting the 'long shadow' produced by its abruptly curtailed whirlwind romance. The personal story is equally reflective of the 'long shadow' cast by the war itself. This is a skillful parallel between the events for the characters and the wider stage in which their play takes shape.

Some of that almost soporific lulling also comes from the recapture of an age of innocence. The nurse Dorothy is young, and although she has decided opinions on most things, from pastries to people, she is conveyed as essentially uncritical, swept along equally by her compelling attraction to a Rhett Butler Greek of glittering dark eyes, as much as to her devotion to her role as nursing aide to the restrained and devoted doctor, Ethan Willoughby. In that sense it has the ingredients of conflicted romance, a very English Home Counties romance where the longing for wild exuberance is tempered by restraint, though not entirely!

There are well drawn characters, the polished Greek mother in her well ordered home of servants, ice cold water wells for cooling wine, of shutters and aromatic gardens; and her counterpart the present day English grandmother in a crumbling gracious Edwardian home, Downlands. The encounters with the Greek peasants, shepherds, runners, dancers and festivals falls like bright light on the impressionable Dorothy, avid for adventure, making the most of her war's interludes (and living with that living for ever after).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Long Shadow 6 Mar 2014
I read this book as background to a research project on a particular woman who worked in the VAD in Salonika in 1916-18. I found the descriptions of life at the hospital to be vivid and convincing: they certainly increased my understanding of what it was like to be there, and my admiration for the volunteers. At the same time I enjoyed the novel in its own right, more than I expected, because I am not usually a reader of the historical genre. It works on different levels – as both a poignant romance, and as an analysis of what it is like to be born into two cultures and be pulled alternately in each direction whilst feeling one is not fully a part of either one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Shadow 25 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a most compelling read. I sat up to the early hours reading the last couple of hundred pages, not wishing to let it go.

It is a book of two halves: the first set in Salonica (Thessaloniki, Greece) during the First World War: our heroine a well-bred English nurse who falls in love with a Greek Army Officer. Set twenty years or so later, the second half just pre-dates the Second World War when our heroine's son returns to Greece in search of his own past.

I came to The Long Shadow because I wished to learn more about the often ignored Salonica Campaign of the First World War in which my grandfather took part. Loretta Proctor has clearly researched this place and time with great diligence and manages to convey a vivid account and flavour of the period. Her own Greek origins must have been a great help.

Not everyone will feel that diary entries with extensive direct speech is an appropriate medium for recounting the narrative and the historical detail. It may jar with some, but for me it worked just fine and did not grate at all. I accepted that our heroine was a most meticulous recorder of conversations.

Having taken all and more than I hoped to take from the first half of the book, the second half was a welcome and exhilarating bonus and surprise. Our heroine's son embraces Greece with his father's vigour. I was right behind him all the way. As an admirer of the rebetika tradition of Greek popular songs, I particularly enjoyed reading about his sally into the community of the manga and the respect he received there as a palikari.

Loretta Proctor writes with an easy and sympathetic manner. She tells a good tale. I am hoping my wife's book club will read it and ask me to join in their discussions!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story lingers long after you've finished 29 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
You know that feeling you get when you finish a novel and you've accidentally fallen in love with one of the characters? Now what do you do? The guy doesn't actually exist. This happened to me with The Long Shadow, and I've having a hard time letting go.

In all honesty, two characters, a father and his son, have both captured my romantic imagination.

The Long Shadow not only contains fascinating, unforgettable, mesmerizing characters, it has history: lots of it. It brought the horrors of World War I Greece to life, and also managed to capture those precious moments of joy that occur even in the grimmest circumstances. The end, which I could not predict, was perfect and satisfying.

This author is becoming one of my all time favorites.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very quick delivery
The book arrived swiftly. I have only just started reading it and am enjoying it so far. Think it will offer an interesting insight into an area of WW1 which seems to have been... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rf Ea Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Abook that makes you feel like you are there
Avery believable novel. I'm not usually interested in WWI or WWII novels, but this was engrossing, perhaps because the characters were very real, and the background descriptions... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Helen Hollick
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-rounded read.
The Long Shadow covered all fronts: politics, emotions, war, human suffering, it was beautifully written with dramatic characters that stay in the mind. Read more
Published 4 months ago by AnLe
5.0 out of 5 stars An evocative, fascinating and beautiful portrayal of love, war and...
What a delicious read this was. Spanning two wars and set partly in Britain and mainly in Greece, The Long Shadow tells the story of two profound love stories across two... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandie Dent
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Shadow - Half Time
I am a slow reader. Still reading it - brilliant and gripping with some excellent descriptions of the background,.

Robin Jowit
Published 11 months ago by Robin Jowit
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like The Island, you will love this....
If you like The Island, you will love this. It is as simple as that! "compelling......unput-down-able" - cliches but definatley applicable here. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. N. S. O. Grady
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant love story, set mainly in Greece
This is not a book about Greece. It not a book about war but it is a book about people, the situations they find themselves in; and above all about their loves. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gordon Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars In the shadow of the Greek tragedians
The author shows that you can still write of love and tragedy in modern Greece, when you may feel there is a Sophocles or an Aeschylus breathing down your neck or squinting over... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Saul Owlette
3.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Historical Romance
The story begins with 14-year-old Andrew Clarke, Dorothy's son by a Greek officer in Selonika, discovering and reading his mother's personal diaries, which give a detailed account... Read more
Published 20 months ago by E J Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to see it on Sunday evening TV
This book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction from the turmoil of European wars which punctuated the first half of the twentieth century. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Tony Bayliss
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