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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday read
Margarita's Olive Press proved to be the ideal holiday companion whilst visiting the Ionian islands. The author suffers all the trials & tribulations of dealing with a property acquisition from a typical Greek family. He conveys extremely well the mentality of Margarita & her desire to ensure that the Englishman will not pay too little for her family heritage.The working...
Published on 9 Oct 2005 by S. Williams

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not at all an easy ride in the Greek property market.
This book is a tribute to determination and shows the pitfalls of the Greek property market. Zakynthos is an island my wife and I have visited over a dozen times, staying in the small village of Alykanas. I met the author (without knowing of the book)at Costas beach-cafe in Alykes in May, 2012. The book was mentioned by Costa a couple of days later. I purchased a copy...
Published 21 months ago by Mr. Nigel C. Farrance


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday read, 9 Oct 2005
By 
S. Williams "Greekofile" (Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
Margarita's Olive Press proved to be the ideal holiday companion whilst visiting the Ionian islands. The author suffers all the trials & tribulations of dealing with a property acquisition from a typical Greek family. He conveys extremely well the mentality of Margarita & her desire to ensure that the Englishman will not pay too little for her family heritage.The working relationship of all the people involved in the project is conveyed beautifully albeit tempered with the frustrations of language barriers & a desire on the Greeks part to compound rather than to solve problems. There is joy as each part comes together tinged with sadness along the way. There is compassion, pride,and tragedy without which no book on Greece would be complete. Altogether a fabulous account of triumph over the odds .
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One man's 20 year DIY project on a Greek island., 30 July 2005
By 
Terry Quinn (Jacksonville, NC, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
What a delightful story. The charm of Greece and its people comes through on every page and the conversion of a ruin into a beautiful holiday home reads like an adventure story. The property that Rodney Shields acquired on the beautiful island of Zakynthos was idyllic. Except that it had no access road, no electricity and no running water or sewage. It seems that overcoming these considerable obstacles was childs play compared to the difficulties of buying a property from multiple owners and the nightmare complexity of Greek bureaucracy.
This book will appeal to anyone who has ever visited Greece and will persuade those who have not that they should do so. It is an abolute must for anyone contemplating a property purchase on an Ionian island. They could save themselves much time and trouble by benefitting from the fascinating story of Rodney Shields' 20 year DIY project.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A family's 20 year project to create a place in the sun, 15 Jan 2007
By 
A. George (St Albans, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
If you have ever dreamt of living in a house surrounded by olive trees on a slope running down to the Ionian Sea, or simply would enjoy the vicarious pleasure of a beautifully crafted literary excursion to Zakynthos, - read `Margarita's Olive Press'.

Margarita, the owner of the olive press, sells off parts of the property as Shields' negotiating skills are tested almost to the limit. The story tells how each practical hurdle is overcome - no road access? no water or electricity? or after winter storms, no roof? - no problem. Each obstacle is tackled with a stoicism and ingenuity which puts most `Grand Design' projects in the shade. Materials have to be carried by mule down from the nearest track, or by impressed members of Shields' family.

Once the essential requirements for survival are put together, an easy style of living is established in harmony with the land and the sea. There are delightful accounts of a growing network of Greek builders, friends and acquaintances. Through good fortune, an early contact in a taverna with Dionysus, the former registrar for the northern part of the island, develops into an enduring friendship. The need for a lawyer leads to Lambis, who becomes Shields' guide not only through the labyrinthine mysteries of Greek property transactions, but also to the rich history of the land.

The story is one of indomitable optimism and an irreversible love affair with Greek life in a remote corner of this beautiful island.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 21 Jan 2011
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
I adored every page of the book. I love Greece and especially the Ioninan islands and it is my dream to live there one day.
The story is delightful, the charm of the island and the people comes through on each page and the conversion of the olive press into a holiday home is a real adventure. It is a fabulous account of buying and restoring the olive press against the odds. This is definately a keeper for me and has made me even more determined to retire to Greece one day
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Margarita's Olive Press, 7 Oct 2009
By 
Leonard Moss "Ray" (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
Having been to the Island of Zakynthos every year for over 20 years it was great to read about this family's life and struggles to come to terms with making a life amongst the Islanders. We recognised all the places and even some of the Greek people. We're probably biased as we, like the Author, love the Island and it's people, but it's a book we will read several times over the years. A really good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
Being completely in love with Zakynthos i found this such wonderful reading for those days when I am counting down to my next visit. The descriptions were thoughtful and colourful. I have enjoyed every word.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not at all an easy ride in the Greek property market., 6 July 2012
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
This book is a tribute to determination and shows the pitfalls of the Greek property market. Zakynthos is an island my wife and I have visited over a dozen times, staying in the small village of Alykanas. I met the author (without knowing of the book)at Costas beach-cafe in Alykes in May, 2012. The book was mentioned by Costa a couple of days later. I purchased a copy from Amazon when I returned to England. The unending patience and endurance the author showed eventually gained him his reward in a small piece of this magnificent island with the views and privacy he wanted yet the integration into local life there. My wife, Diana, and I have also experienced the sight and sounds of the "airborne fire-fighters" when they fought a fire "over the mountains" and re-filled with water in the bay just outside Alykanas. A great story well told. Thank you Rodney Shields and may you have many more years in Margarita's Olive Press.
Nigel Farrance.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly interesting but not well written, 26 May 2007
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This review is from: Margarita's Olive Press (Paperback)
As someone who has been visiting Zakynthos for a number of years, I was expecting much more from this book. To be honest I was more than a little disappointed. Yes there are a small no of memorable characters, but there is really no real sense of Zakynthos, no place names to provide context or invoke memories of places you've been to. It is only too obvious that the author is not a writer. There is really no continuity throughout the book and the jumping around in the timeline is somewhat confusing in trying to relate to the progress of the project.

The Olive press could really be anywhere....
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Margarita's Olive Press
Margarita's Olive Press by Rodney Shields (Paperback - 7 July 2005)
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