Remembering Hardship

When Snow Fell On The Lemon Tree Blossoms, by Leonidas Petrakis, Pella Publishing 2012 is a lyrical account of a difficult period in contemporary Greek history. While it’s presented as a fictional memoir, it might very well be based on the experiences of its author.

Greece was ruled by a dictator on the eve of World War II. During the 1940s the country was invaded by Italian, Bulgarian, German, and British forces. Both communist and fascist Greek guerillas fought against the harsh Nazi occupation. Afterwards the left and right engaged in a bitter civil war. However its political future was predetermined by British, American, and Russian leaders who made sure Greece remained within the Western block during the Cold War.

This book manages to describe the day-to-day difficulties facing the Greek people during that decade. Families divided by politics and differing loyalties. Some neighbors coming together to help one another and others exploiting the situation for personal gain.

I found the voice of the young narrator unconvincing. He sometimes spoke as a child, while at other times his words were clearly expressions of a mature adult. The work would have gained credibility if it were told by a man looking back at what occurred during an earlier time in his life. Allowing him to show the child he once was and also permitting him to reflect on his past experiences.

copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

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