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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic In The Island
What a superb book. Such easy reading, not greatly developed characters but there was enough. Sometimes less is more and I like to use my imagination. Elena seems pretty fickle, but I was Elena once upon a time, her dilemma was something I identified with, men wanting her is part of every pretty young girl's life and I think the author dealt with that really sensitively...
Published 11 months ago by Neffy

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets off to a great start ...
I loved the beginning of this novel - it's very accurate in its description of Kefalonia and the story line offers a lot of expectation. Sadly, I felt that most of the story lines ended up unfinished.
Published 15 months ago by France On Canvas


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic In The Island, 17 July 2013
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What a superb book. Such easy reading, not greatly developed characters but there was enough. Sometimes less is more and I like to use my imagination. Elena seems pretty fickle, but I was Elena once upon a time, her dilemma was something I identified with, men wanting her is part of every pretty young girl's life and I think the author dealt with that really sensitively. I'd have been on that yacht in a heartbeat, they're on holiday and the Island of Kefalonia has a spirit of its own that makes you do things you might not normally do, it takes over and makes you feel things you didn't feel. Go there if you've not been!

I liked Ben, then I didn't, then I did again. I would give him a couple of days of my time and if I managed to become his 'one' I'd probably feel fulfilled. He'd be worth a punt and I found him very real and intriguing. I wanted to know more about him, but Dillon told me enough. Next time I'm in Fiskardo I'm wearing an olive dress ;)

Elena's character was interesting, she's at the cusp of woman hood, making decisions she doesn't want to yet, in a place where decisions shouldn't have to be made. I love that she's torn between being responsible and being in love on and with the island. God made Kefalonia as a place which has the ability to throw people's minds into turmoil, to challenge what they believe and to cause them to enter into some introspective reflection. Go there but don't expect to come back unchanged. I love that this happend to Elena, so many people I know who visit Kefalonia or live there express the same things she was feeling. The author captured this perfectly.

I loved the jumps from the romance to the story of little Yanni and his experience of a terrible act of God. It kind of snapped me out of the headiness of a holiday romance back to the real lives of the islanders. Having spoken to people who lived through the great earth quake, coming not long after a terrible WW2 occupation experience at the hands of the Nazis the author dealt with this aspect of the story really sensitively and well. I felt the fear, I felt the tremors and I felt the despair.

The holiday of St Gerasimos was superbly described, I felt I was inside the church, I felt the sweltering heat of a mid August day. Grown up Yianni carried that pride which Kefalonians have, pride in surviving adversity after adversity, the sense of loss of a generation of it's children whisked away to new lives, the tradition of knowing who you would marry carried on against all odds in Elena's aunt and uncle. It was all there. Kefalonians will recognise themselves, their parents, their grandparents in this book.

Most of all I just loved the descriptions of places I'm familiar with, I was tasting the food, feeling the ambiance, hearing the sounds of nature and seeing the lovely islanders at work.

I was moved by a couple of tiny things especially, one of them was Dillon's nod to the drudgery of being poor and raising a family and how the chores take up the time and leave little left to enjoy the children. It made me feel for Yianni's mum, knowing that she had not enjoyed her eldest son before it was too late and reminded me to put precious moments with my own kids before doing the laundry and mowing the lawn. Thank you for that Mr Dillon :D Besides anything else it showed that he wasn't over obsessed with the rich yachters who descend on the island, throw money around and leave, he showed more substance.

I enjoyed the yacht, I loved the soup of nationalities and/or national identities, I loved the banter, I loved the indulgence, I was on that yacht and want to be back on it for real!

The scents, sights and sounds of Kefalonia were beautifully brought to life and I want more. If this was a first novel testing the water, then consider it as warm as that off Petani beach on an August afternoon ... dive in and give us more. I want to stop imagining what happened next (even though there is a certain pleasure in that) and start knowing. I want to know more about Dimi, I want him to paint Elena more than she wants him to!

Love, love, loved it. If you want hard going, prize winning literature about this beautiful island read Captain Correlli or a history book, but for summer on a plate, choose this, you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic in the Receiver, 17 July 2012
This review is from: The Magic In The Receiver (Kindle Edition)
Very well written book, if you have never been to Kefalonia, you would think you had, as the description of the place is amazing. The book starts with the Father as a child in the eathquake that happened in Greece, and how and why he took his grown up Daughter for the first time to Kefalonia to see all his family. The story then continues with what happens with the Daughter and who she meets whilst in there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets off to a great start ..., 27 Mar 2013
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France On Canvas (near Montlucon, France) - See all my reviews
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I loved the beginning of this novel - it's very accurate in its description of Kefalonia and the story line offers a lot of expectation. Sadly, I felt that most of the story lines ended up unfinished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kefalonia book, 1 Nov 2012
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Great book, arrived in record time, well packaged. Descriptions take you back to holidays on Kefalonia. A great read. I would recommend.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn’t want it to end, 29 Dec 2012
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This story really captivated me. It’s one of those books that you can sink into, like a warm bath, and never want to get out. If I have one nit-pick, the ending came too quickly, leaving me wanting more or perhaps a sequel to look forward to. This book felt like the literary equivalent of a film – very atmospheric.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars missed opportunity, 30 Nov 2013
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Penn (Dorset UK) - See all my reviews
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This could have been a good book. The descriptions of the earthquake and its aftermath, the effect it had on the characters - all well written. Unfortunately the other main subjects are, to a woman, self - obsessed airheads. Perhaps the place to read this book is on a bareboat holiday in the Ionian, with the option of ditching it in the sea when the irritation factor becomes too great. Pity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greece at its magical best, 4 Nov 2013
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I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating tale set on the Greek island of Kefalonia. It is a modern love story woven into the events of the past, namely the devastating earthquake of 1953 that destroyed most of this elegant Ionian island. The story touches on two generations of the Katros family, the first caught up in the earthquake and its tragic aftermath. Most of the family's surviving members were evacuated to America and 50 years later, the survivors and their children are together on Kefalonia to commemorate this event during the feast day of the island's patron saint, St Gerasimos. It's a time of powerful emotions, unexpected revelations and closure.

Dillon has clearly been fascinated by the history of this region and has based his book on the testimony of some of Kefalonia's earthquake survivors which gives it an appealing authenticity. More than that, he creates an evocative picture of this island - its azure sea and iconic beaches, blistering under an August sun, a sensual backdrop to what is an unexpected love story between young, sexy Greek American Elena Katros, bewitched with her ancestral home, its turbulent past, and rich, enigmatic American tourist Ben Anderson.

This is a light and a lovely portrait not only of Greek island life but of what it means to be young, in love and faced with enticing possibilities. As someone who has lived in Greece and written about it as well, for me, Dillon's book is also a timely reminder of how this country, despite its historic turmoil and its current crisis is still a ravishing prospect for just about everyone who sets foot on its shores, and has the power to transform lives. The magic here certainly worked for me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kefalonia then and now., 13 Sep 2013
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This book is 3 stories. I would have preferred them as en separate tales rather than being intertwined as there is no reason for the jumping back and forth through time.

That said, it's a very good well written book. I'm a regular visitor to Kefalonia and can vouch that the descriptions are accurate.

I actually read this whilst on Kefalonia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully descriptive, 28 Mar 2013
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The imagery was such that I was there with the characters, the scents & sights of the Greek islands surrounding me.
Initially disappointed that the main character's story is not fully resolved, but this actually adds to the spirit of the narrative perfectly. Will research this author further - another helping a must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, 9 Jan 2013
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The story of the family effected by the Greek earthquake was lost to a mini romance, ending lost its way.
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