I picked up this book when on holiday in Andros last year. A summer later, having just come back from Greece (and feeling a bit homesick already), this was just the perfect reading for me. An Englishman’s personal account about life in a village up the valley (probably Menites?), which is full of interesting observations about Greek island life and its colorful characters.
I recognized many of the villager ‘types’ from my own experience, I brought back to mind some of the beautiful scenery of wind-ridden Andros, with its fertile inland (due to the many streams of course), beautiful captain’s houses and nice beaches.
This having being written by an Englishman, I also loved the points about the differences in mentality between the two peoples, something I also get to experience daily- being married to an Englishman myself!
For example, this: “I should have been used to them by now but I still finished exasperated beyond measure sometimes by what I saw as lack of reason and proportion in the way they (i.e.Greeks) about things. One the other hand, I had lived in England long enough to know that what is rational language there reflects more of a desire for order than anything else and often makes people strangers to each other”.
Spot on on both points (and I am sure my husband must feel like that sometimes too!).
A few examples of good descriptive writing scattered throughout contribute to the level of satisfaction, even when the topic of conversation did not interest me as much (the priests’ chapter).
All in all, nice personal account, which reminded me how much I love Andros. I hope to be back soon!