This book takes you to Aghia Anna, a small village in Greece overlooking a harbor. Four
travelers from around the globe meet by chance at a taverna perched high atop the
village. Each one is running away from something or someone back home.
Andreas, the friendly old man who owns the taverna, enjoys extending his
hospitality to the tourists, but regrets the loss of his son since he moved to the United
States. In this ideal Mediterranean setting, they witness a horrible accident. The
experience creates a bond of friendship among them.
Thomas, the American,
is tortured by thoughts that he is an inadequate father being replaced by his sonís
Elsa, the tall and beautiful television anchorwoman left her
successful TV career in Germany to get away from the man she loves.
is taking a breather from the suffocating pressure to run his fatherís business in
England and generally live up to the tidy expectations of his parents.
Fionna, the nurse from Ireland is traveling abroad with her boyfriend
Shane, to escape her parentís disapproval of him. This trip will test Fionnaís patience
with the moody Shane.
They all become fascinated by Vonni, an Irishwoman,
who moved to the village decades ago. She is a complex woman with a turbulent past who
spends her time helping others and dispensing advice. Vonni acts as a catalyst for each
character to set things right in their lives.
Over grape leaves, moussaka,
and local wines, they talk, laugh, fall in love, fall out of love, and make some
startling observations about each other. They work through those burning questions they
came to Aghia Anna with. The plot threads belonging to each character were tied up in the
end in satisfying ways, but not in the obvious ways.
The dialogue flows
easily, making this novel a treat to read. I feel like Iíve been on a vacation to Greece,
without the suntan. I enjoyed peering into the souls of these people and felt reluctant
to say goodbye when the book ended. Happily, there are five other books by Maeve