THE SUNRISE BY VICTORIA HISLOP
In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple open the island’s most spectacular hotel, “The Surise” they called it, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony.
Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Ozkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city’s facade of glamour and success, tension is building. When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK
I got lost between pages and found myself wandering in the streets of Famagusta during its golden age. The book begins in the year of 1972 when Famagusta was in all its glory and manages to present the wealth and growth that characterized the place at the time. Through her descriptions you can almost taste the luxury and smell the bliss hovering in the cypriot air.
If only that was the case. She travels through time and stops at the year 1974. There, Hislop brings to life the most horrific days of the turkish invasion and makes a noticing and rather disturbing contrast of the carefree days of potential and wealth to the absolute wretchedness that followed. The entire island is painted red by the blood of cypriots, both greeks and turkish and Cyprus is biscected.
A heart-breaking novel presenting you the loss and pain and agony that both sides experienced. Page by page the perscriptive narration of the events cause you chills and goosebumps that run through every inch of your body.
Cyprus is an island very close to my heart. I’ve lived and loved this tormented little peace of paradise and my heart was pounding each time I turned a page. I have seen up close the ghost-town Famagusta, or as I know it “Ammochostos”, from a watchtower nearby and now reading about it brought back all those images that had been engraved in my mind a long time ago. I really connected to the story and its characters. Loved every second I spent with this book. A well-written story and a total page turner. My thanks to the author for this painful yet fascinating trip down memory lane.