The Sunrise by Victoria Hislopproof supplied by Headline and the Reading Agency
When an email dropped into my work inbox offering me the chance to apply for an advance copy of Victoria Hislop's new novel I leapt at it and was lucky enough to get one of the copies on offer.
I read The Island when it first came out and loved it - possibly because I knew the setting, mainly because it was a great book - and have read Hislop's new books avidly since.
The Sunrise is set in Cyprus in 1974, before, during and after the failed coup and the subsequent Turkish invasion and partition of the island. Cleverly following two families and the way they are linked both sides of the argument are clearly put whilst at the same time making the point that there are very few differences between them. I knew that Cyprus was still a divided nation but not really how or why it happened and the idea of an abandoned city right in the middle of the divide was intriguing.
I'm not sure why but for me this book just didn't have the resonance of Hislop's others. There didn't seem to be quite the depth of history that I've found in her other novels and also I never felt that I got to know any of the characters despite the length of the book. It all seemed very rushed and at the same time terribly plodding.
I do wonder if this is my fault as I started this book shortly after reading some quite 'heavy' literary fiction and perhaps I hadn't managed to switch my brain around for lighter reading. Perhaps this really is holiday book and if I re-read it next year on a beach (possibly in Greece) I'll enjoy it more?
A recent photo of Famagusta - a modern ghost town
This is a review of an advance copy, the book is published in September 2014.