The Art of Becoming Homeless: Volume 5 (The Greek Village Series) Paperback – 7 Oct 2013
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About the Author
Sara Alexi was born in Oxford, England. She has travelled widely and now splits her time between her home in England and a tiny rural village in the Peloponnese, in Greece, where she is (very slowly!) renovating a ruined stone farmhouse, whilst observing the Greek way of life and absorbing the culture, to enrich her vision for both writing and painting. Sara began writing later in life. In school English lessons were a time of confusion, books indecipherable hieroglyphics. Dyslexia was not well understood then and no support was available. The joy of reading and writing were cancelled by the teacher's red pen ... Despite her dyslexia Sara qualified as a psychotherapist and ran her own practice for years. Her artistic nature was, at that time, confined to painting and she exhibited widely. In a casual conversation with a client she discovered that Agatha Christie, Jules Verne and Hans Christian Andersen were all dyslexic, and Sara's perspective changed. The world of fiction opened to her with this shift in perception and she has been a prolific writer ever since. Her 'Greek Village Series' has been very well received and provides a keenly observed, compassionate insight into the Greek people and culture, and the human condition in general. Watch this space for the next in the series, coming soon! Follow Sara: http://www.facebook.com/authorsaraalexi
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In this book we follow Michelle, Juliette’s friend, who has come to Greece to negotiate the settlement of a claim. She feels that her position as a solicitor with her firm in London may be in jeopardy as there is talk about redundancies. On arriving in Greece, she finds that she has a weekend to explore and so goes off to visit the island Orino (as boats going to all the other islands have been cancelled because of a strike).
On the boat with her is a young man, Dino, who reminds her they met at the ouzeri when she, Juliette and Juliette’s two sons had supper. Dino and his father had joined their table to toast English universities. Dino has thrown in his job (having completed university in England) and is on his way to visit his friends on the island before going home to face his father with the news that he does not want to live in England.
If ever there was a relationship that should not work, this is it. Michelle is old enough to be Dino’s mother, but they connect. Dino takes her round the island and through him, she realises that life is not just about making enough money to keep an old house repaired. That she should be looking to her own life and what she wants to do and how she wants something more in life than the daily grind of just earning a living.
As ever, a beautiful story with believable characters, set in an idyllic village which Sara Alexi with her words,brings to life for you to see and feel the heat of the day, hear the braying of the donkeys and see the village life as it goes on around you.
The Story is about Michelle , Juliet's childhood friend who is in Greece to work on a legal claims case but has a weekend free and decides to take a trip to a neighbouring island. She gets there despite a Greek strike :) . Does that sound familiar? The island she arrives at features quite prominently in Book 2 of the Greek Village Series - 'Black Butterflies' and many of the characters there make a very pleasant reappearance in this book including Yanni and Costas etc.
While on the island she meets the young Dino, from Saros, the island that features quite prominently in most of the books of this Greek Village series. He remembers seeing her in Saros town on an earlier vacation and strikes up a friendship with her. Once on the island a hair raising accident leads to Michelle and Dino getting closer, developing quite a close bond and spending all their time together.
The romance between Michelle and Dino develops despite their marked age and cultural differences. In this story, Michelle has some major decisions to make as to whether she is willing to leave her comfort zone of a stressful job she doesn't enjoy, friends who are few and far, a crumbing house she can ill afford to maintain and keep and move to Greece for the sake of love and what appears to be a more rewarding quality of life. Dino also has issues to resolve concerning guilt surrounding his mother's death, his father's high expectations and bullying and the truth surrounding his parentage. When Dino and Michelle arrive back in Saros and to Juliet's house everything comes to a head. Some major life decisions are made by both Dino and Michelle. It will be interesting to see in future books how their love and relationship develops and whether it is lasting or not.
There are other issues that are also dealt with in this book including whether the rat race in our cities is really worth it, homelessness on the streets of London versus the beauty and warmth of a greek village and its people. It also deals with living for the moment, being happy and not worrying too much about the future as no one really knows what is around the corner. A theme that runs throughout the series to varying degrees.
As for the way the book ends all I can say is I am left speechless. Its a cliffhanger ending in its own way. The reader is left wondering who will be running the guesthouse in Saros town and I am not sure I can wait for the next book to find out :) Its a mystery which I am dying to have resolved. I can't help but think it's linked to Juliet in some way although this is pure speculation. I want to know when the next book is coming out and hope it is very soon.
This now brings me completely up to date with all of Sara's books in the series and I have to say it has been such a long time since I last visited Greece and its islands that reading the series has brought a real longing to visit again and very soon. I think Sara must be doing more for Greek tourism then any guide book or holiday website through her detailed descriptions of the places, the warmth of the people, the easy going pace of life and superb climate!
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