Those Who Are Loved

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Those Who Are Loved is a powerful, compelling novel that immerses the reader in the life of Themis and her family, raised from early childhood by her matriarch grandmother. The novel steps back in time to Themis early childhood, living under Nazi occupation in Athens, but that is only the beginning of Themis story, and we follow her journey through adulthood, one where she will face many challenges, angry at her fellow Greeks who collaborated with the Nazis, she makes the life changing decision to fight alongside the communists during the civil war. This is a story of one ordinary woman who lived an extraordinary life. 

Rather like real life Themis story is one of heartbreak, joy, regrets, and the moments in life that will haunt her until her dying day. I felt I was living and breathing Themis’s story, although I didn’t agree with some of her choices and actions,  her story is an incredible one. It was interesting to see how a young timid Themis overshadowed by her older brothers and sisters grew into a feisty, resourceful and determined woman who showed great courage throughout her life. Although Themis story is fiction, it’s one built around true life events, I’m sure there are many Greeks who can relate to the atrocities Themis witnessed throughout her life. Victoria Hislop brings each character deftly to life, some like Themis will remain with you long after you reach the last page of this compelling novel. 

Victoria Hislop sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Greece’s past, it’s obvious she has meticulously researched her subject, and thanks to her descriptive prose It’s easy to summon up images of a Greece that was once a country blighted by poverty and hardship, it’s people divided by politics. The author weaves an epic tale of family, adversary, and the difficulties faced by thousands of Greeks from 1941 onwards. This is definitely one for those who love historical fiction, or those who enjoy a rich in detail family sagas. Personally I found Those Who Are Loved a delightful and engrossing read. Highly recommended
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This is an epic story of war torn Greece, both World Wars and Civil wars, through the eyes of one woman.  The book starts at the time of the most recent financial crisis and the storyteller then reminisces, to the surprise of some of the younger generation.  As well as being a tale of a country finding it's own identity, this is about the struggle of women who want to be more than homemakers.  I was surprised and shocked at some of the events which are recounted, particularly starvation and senseless cruelty.  There was a bit too much politics for me, but otherwise a marvelous read.
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Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review 
Having read all of this paddy's books was delighted  to get an early copy one once again was totally delighted I love how she can portray  the hard ship that Greece has gone through. this book has been extremely  well  researched  and delivers 100%. Can highly recommend
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Those Who Are Loved is the story of the German occupation of Greece, subsequently followed by civil war and military dictatorship. This book focuses on Themis, the youngest child in a family divided by politics. She eventually decides to fight for the Communists. The book spans forty years and thigh she is haunted by some of her actions, Themis is proud of what she achieved. Now with grandchildren of her own, she relives her last for them.

This book covers some very delicate subjects but it’s beautifully written and gives you a great insight into Greece’s past featuring a strong and heroic woman.

I’ve loved all of the author’s previous work and this is no exception. Thank you to NetGalley, Headline and the author for the chance to review.
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An epic novel covering Greece and its history.  I devoured it with joy, sadness and pleasure.  It enlightened me as to the history of Greece and to war and dictatorships with many parallels to today.

Highly recommended for those readers who loved The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah.
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This is a cosy, gentle read. One of those where you curl up in an armchair with a cup of tea as you turn the pages. It's slow but interesting, covering a period in history I knew little about, from the point of view of a family and friends. Not brilliantly written but soft and comfy.
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This begins with a Grandmother telling her family history to 2 of her Grandchildren after the celebration of her 90th Birthday. It’s a fascinating tale of 2nd World War and post-war Greece – which so deserves to be known and told. Despite Hislop’s sometimes ‘simplified’ phrasing (which I wonder if she employs to reach a larger reading audience to her fascinating subject matter) this is a highly informative and ultimately uplifting book. 

Themis is married to Giorgos (who now suffers from dementia). She relates her life from her childhood in the 1930s in a grand, derelict house and the breakdown in her parents’ marriage leading to being brought up by their Great Grandmother. She has 3 siblings, who are divided by their political beliefs; how this plays out in the forthcoming years is disturbing and upsetting. There are extreme political situations I never realised were going on in Greece when I was growing up – through to the 1980s. 

I did feel the political situation described was too ‘black and white’ – ‘Communist or Nazi collaborator’, with nothing in between; as we all know there  are numerous shades of grey in between and not all people who were not Communists were working with the Nazis; however, it does keep the narrative easy to follow. Despite this simplification I feel this is a ‘must read’ for anyone who holidays there, or has an interest in Greece. I would consider it compelling holiday reading (but may be a bit on the depressing side if you’re used to a lighter content!) A very easy way, with compelling, lovely characters especially Themis herself, to learn about how British and US interference, with their fear of Communist influence, set Greece off to a terrible start at the end of the  Second World War and beyond.
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A very well written and researched book, full of details about the  history of Greece from before the second world war. I learnt a great number of things that I didn't know. The story itself was also very interesting and at times a positive page turner. The one fault, for me, was that I felt it was a little long and there was one large section in the middle, that I felt was the cause of this and I felt myself starting to loose interest. It soon picked up pace, however, and then kept me absorbed until the end.
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Unputdownable.  Victoria Hislop’s family epic of twentieth century Greece grips from first page to the last.  Timely history, superb storytelling and characters that live on beyond the page make this essential summer reading.
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This isn't my usual genre but having heard good things about the author's previous work I was interested in reading her new novel. 
This book takes place in Greece from the 1930s through to the present, telling the story of Themis and her family as they deal with internal and external conflict, fascism and communism and how this impacts their family and country.
Despite dealing with tough and often depressing situations this was a captivating read. Well written, and hard to put down, with interesting and complex characters and a story that lingers with you long after finishing.
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Well written about a period of history which we know much about but not necessarily from the point of view of those living in Greece and the Eastern Med. I found it historically interesting but rather slow paced for my taste in reading. Lots of characterisation which will suit many readers especially as you feel that you really get to know the main cast, especially Themis.
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An amazing story set within the German occupation of Greece and the subsequent civil war. The trials and tribulations of the central characters make them wholly relateable and are a salutary lesson in how we shaped by our environment.  This is how history should be taught - both an education and moving story in one. Victoria Hislop at her best.
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The book starts in Athens in 2016 where Themis an old lady is surrounded by her family for a birthday gathering. Her last gift to her family is her life story which she starts to tell.

We then go back to the 1930’s where Thesis is growing up with her siblings Thanasis, Panos and Margarita. The family is divided over their beliefs of the war and the communists ruling Greece. Thesis finds it hard to put her point of view across over her head strong brothers who are always arguing!!

Themis joins the communists fighters but ends up as a prisoner enduring physical violence and hard labour. When she is released she later marries and has a family, but what happened to her is always like a black cloud hanging over her.

This book is well researched, it’s characters are well formed especially Thesis who you can’t help but love. 

Even if you are not into history this book is a delightful read which is totally engrossing.

Will definitely look out for Victoria Hislop’s next book.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
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I have read a few earlier novels by Victoria Hislop and have always enjoyed her stories.  The level and depth of her research continues to amaze me.  Every story I have read by her involves historical events that are unknown to me.  I agree with another reviewer that this novel seems more like a history lesson than a novel and whilst I really did enjoy learning about this period of Greek history I did find that the constant harrowing story that Themis lived through very hard going.  I realise that there probably was no 'light relief' living through this period but my goodness it was a depressing read with very little uplifting sections and given it was a novel it would have been nice to have some moments of happiness/ good news.  I am grateful to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a preview copy.  My next novel will be a bit of a lighter happier read !
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A well researched book about the troubles in Greece after the wars. A history I know very little about. As usual with Victoria Hislop book,s it is well written with very believable characters. The family divide was probably a good representation of the feelings within Greek families during this period. I did feel at times that it was a little bit like a history lesson rather than a story.
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Those Who Are Loved is set in two time periods in Greece. We follow the life of Themis and her family today as she is an old woman telling her life story to two of her grandchildren and her life during World War II.

I have read and enjoyed previous books by Victoria Hislop and this one is no exception. It is an extremely well researched, well written compelling read with well drawn characters and I highly recommend it!
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Another fantastic book from Victoria Hislop. This story follows the extraordinary fate of Themis through the Nazi occupation and Greek civil war. Beautifully written with well developed characters that you really grow to care about.
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What a fascinating and poignant story.
See through the eyes of Themis, an older lady telling her story to her grandchildren, this novel sweeps through the troubled times of Greece in the 1930s onwards.
There is so much that I was not aware of, politically or socially, and it was so interesting to fill in the gaps with this well researched book.
Thank you for a review copy.
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Victoria Hislop continues her love affair with Greece in this story set in Athens  and tells how opposing political views tear a family apart. Throughout the Nazi occupation and subsequent struggles between idealogies , the family is held together by 2 strong women, both of whom loved their country and their family. Hislop once again forges a compelling story from a perhaps less well known period of the second world war and the rise of communism in Greece ,
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As nonagenarian Themis’ birthday celebration draws to a close, she is moved to reflect on her eventful life and decides to bequeath her life story to her two favourite grandchildren, Nikos and Panos. This is a sweeping historical saga set in Victoria Hislop’s beloved Greece. 

I was gripped by the story from the moment Themis’ childhood home collapses, necessitating a daring escape by her five-year-old self. It is clear from the outset that we are to be privy to an extraordinary life. This is authentic, brilliantly crafted storytelling which immerses the reader in the life of Themis and her family - from her early childhood being raised by her matriarch grandmother, Kyria Koralis, whilst living under Nazi occupation in Athens, through to the years of civil war in the post-war years and a military coup in the 1960’s. The experiences of adult Themis are  set against the backdrop of rising political tensions between communist and right-wing factions, epitomised by the opposing political viewpoints of Themis’ brothers: Panos and Thanasis, as well as the left-wing sympathies of Themis herself.  This leads them all into situations which have devastating repercussions, as they fight for their individual beliefs.

Hislop brilliantly evokes a turbulent  post war period in Greece's political history by revealing it through the eyes and experiences of fictional  protagonist, Themis. I was previously unaware of Greece’s political history and was fascinated to learn about how this country, families and individuals were riven apart by war and conflict.  The futility and brutality of war are poignantly realised with Themis’ life frequently marred by tragedy, but simultaneously elevated by the bonds of love and family ties. Throughout her long life, all of Themis’ actions are underpinned by her steadfast belief in equality and civil liberties. This was a real page-turner which I devoured. Many thanks for the ARC!
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