I mentioned in a previous post that there were many reasons why I wanted to visit Cyprus. One of these was came from a book I read some years ago, by Victoria Hislop, called, ‘The Sunrise’. I am putting links in for all of the books I write about here but I am not sponsored, it is just in case you wish to follow up any for yourselves.
The book is about Famagusta, in Cyprus, not far from where I was staying in Aiya Napa, and starts when the city is a popular tourist destination in the early 1970s. This was before the conflicts between the Greek and Turkish people led to the splitting of the country into two areas, divided by a buffer zone. Parts of Famagusta are now a ghost town that the inhabitants have not been able to return to since they left.
I found the book absolutely fascinating. I had been aware of the fact that the country was divided, but had no idea of what had happened, even though it all took place when I was a teenager. It was an immensely compelling, and tragic story and made me want to visit the country, even though I am not actually going to Famagusta on this trip.
Victoria Hislop is a wonderful writer and I love the research that she does for her novels. As an aspiring writer, and one who is very much enjoying the research for my first book, I love to read books that have been so well researched and where that research is so carefully woven into the story.
I can also recommend another of her books, ‘The Return’, which is set in Granada. I visited that city in Spring last year for the second time.
I have just finished another book set here during the same time frame, it is one that I came across while doing one of my previous creative writing courses with the Workers’ Educational Association WEA as we read an extract from the book. Again this is one of my favourite authors, a previous read of hers, ‘The Forty Rules of Love’, being one of the best books I have ever read.
This one is called, ‘The Island of Missing Trees’. Elif Shafak, is a Turkish author who writes on a wide variety of topics linked to her culture and experiences, and this one is set in the capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia.
This is again a very powerful book and one that has a very compelling and unusual structure to it. I won’t say too much in case you want to read it, but it gives a very unique perspective into not only the social history of the island, but also its natural history.
I love to read books that tell the stories of the country while I am travelling there. Many years ago I read a book called, ‘A Tree grows in Brooklyn’, by Betty Smith.
The author was the daughter of German immigrants to America, born in the late 1890s, and writes about a young girl growing up amongst the poverty of Brooklyn.
This book, along with others such as, ‘Ellis Island’, by Kate Kerrigan, and a recent read on my trip to New York, The Weaver’ Legacy, by Olive Collins, all add to my enjoyment of visits such as the recent trip to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
I am currently reading some more books based on my USA trip. These have been on my Kindle list for a long time and combine stories of immigration with stories of the fashion industry in America at the start of the 20th century. The first one is called, The Pattern Artist, and they are all by Nancy Moser.
I do so love reading, and my Kindle Unlimited is one of my best things ever, along with my little library corner in the camper full of my charity shop purchases.
One of my greatest joys of retirement is the chance to read every day. Often I can read five books a week. At home in Spain I spend the warm evenings sitting on my terrace reading, and drinking wine 😉 It is such a wonderful pleasure and I hope that you enjoy any of my recommendations here for you. Whether you travel or not, reading is a fantastic way to experience other cultures and histories.
I will be back soon with more of lovely Larnaca, the weather is being quite kind to me, a few showers now but since I am mainly here to visit museums and churches it has not been a problem. Hope you are all having a nice week and as always, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.