these larger issues gracefully, without ever once sacrificing the forward movement of her intriguing story.
That story mostly takes place in Greece during the reign of "The Colonels," the infamous right-wing junta that oppressed its country from 1967 to 1974. Eleni, a doctor and the widowed mother of three, watches as her children come of age during that difficult period, as they figure out how to navigate a personal space that is controlled by the presence of the dictators. Her youngest daughter, Anna, is the one most shaped by her moment in history. After being humiliated by petty police officers, she understands the pervasiveness of the fear--"The simple awareness of the dictators stealthily altered both public and private space, and every so often, it jutted out like this: a frightening lump, a jagged edge, an eerie, alarming wail." The eldest daughter, Sophie, flees to Paris, but even there, she understands what the great Nobel-winning Greek poet, George Seferis, meant when he wrote, "Wherever I travel Greece wounds me."
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