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on 15 September 2013
A superb piece of writing in all aspects of the art of the novel. The cadence of the language, the visual descriptions, the development of the characters within the plot - all of a very high standard. Regarding the plot: considering there is a strong biographical element at work in so far as the author was herself in the Balkans with her husband during the war, and in Athens, and later in Egypt, the flow of the narrative is dictated by real events to a large extent. The characters are still works of fiction, but one cannot help wondering if they are based on real people, as well as the events that befell them. Whatever the truth, there is a rich cast of characters to entertain and intrigue the reader. It is a wonderful book and deserves to remain in print for ever for the work of art it so clearly is, and for the historical detail it so well presents when describing the advance of German power in countries like Rumania and Greece and the horrors spreading right across Europe at a time when Britain was fighting against overwhelming odds. If you love good writing and you have not yet tried this trilogy, you have a treat in store. And why not try the DVD scripted by Alan Plater - that too is something to be treasured. Available from Amazon, like so many good things.
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on 6 July 2017
Wonderful breadth, spreading from Rumania early in the war to end in Cairo. The subplot of the characters, from the impossible Guy via the ex aristocrat Prince Yaki, to the protagonist herself, alternately sympathetic & irritating, is brilliantly portrayed.
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on 21 February 2018
I've kicked around these areas more recently than Olivia, but have really enjoyed the stories & the vibrancy of Her writing.
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on 12 November 2014
What a good, and long, read. Full of characters, deeply observed and portrayed, fascinating descriptions of the countries in which the author lived during troubled times. It inspired me to order the DVD of the series I vaguely remember watching and enjoying many years ago. The used book arrived in excellent condition.
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on 24 March 2014
Two thirds of the way through the trilogy and enjoying it. The ominous sense of the approaching war and the descriptions of Romania and Greece are revealing. Cannot say that I have warmed to Guy as he comes across as totally selfish and you wonder why he bothered to get married. Maybe he will improve as the story progresses
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on 24 October 2016
An all time favourite I am retreading.
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on 20 June 2013
What a read - don't really know the Balkans at all and this whetted my appetite. A great story and lots of interesting stuff linking it to life in the period
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on 15 March 2015
It is a very much a classic and indeed very atmospheric. It is a 'good read' and a book which brings to life the early war years for the English in the Balkans. It is well crafted and each character is believable.
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on 15 November 2015
Thank you
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on 26 August 2015
Very Good
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