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.
To the Island is a book about the impact of larger political events on the lives of ordinary people, and how political and personal betrayals reverberate across generations. It beautifully evokes the currents and cross-currents between individuals, within families and in broader society. And in Lena and Andreas's stories, it shows how difficult it is to confront our personal and collective pasts - and the terrible consequences of being unable to do so.