My review and thoughts about the latest Victoria Hislop book, One August Night, a sequel to The Island.
Series or Standalone – sequel to The Island
Genre – Contemporary|Historical Fiction
Audience – Adult
Length – 216 pages
Date of publication – 29th October 2020 by Headline Publishing Group
25th August 1957. The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences.
When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the people of Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever coloured with tragedy.
In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.
*TW: death, grief, illness, attempted sexual assault*
The Island is a book that has touched my heart and soul a few times over the years, highlighting the fear, ignorance and bigotry of people who have done nothing wrong but fallen ill with a horrible illness. It shows how we can rise from the ashes of our situations and grow into people we can be proud of.
As a sequel to the main Petrakis/ Vandoulakis storyline of The Island, One August Night is exactly the same, facing the horrors of the past and moving on with life. However, it is not a bed of roses and we see that through the perspectives of Maria, Andreas, and Manolis, the three main characters whose lives were irrevocably changed by leprosy, Spinalonga and Anna’s fatal flaws. And it is that which struck me the most. For a such a short novel, it packs in all the emotion, reality and growth I’d expect in a much longer sequel as well as answering all the questions that arise at the end of The Island. It is the satisfactory continuation we needed and I’m glad Victoria Hislop decided to revisit what is arguably her best and most loved story.
Are One August Night and The Island books you’re interested in reading?
If they’re books you’ve already read, what are your thoughts?
As always, thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!