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Thursday, November 12, 2015

ARC Notes From a Very Small Island - Anthony Stancomb

Notes From a Very Small Island is the follow-up to the bestselling 'Under a Croatian Sun', which tells the story of a couple upping sticks and leaving their humdrum life in London for blue skies and cafe life on an island in Croatia.
In this second book, the couple continue their attempts to fit in with the village community, but it's not always easy, and more often than not their endeavours involve them in in hilarious disasters.
They also now try to start some projects up, but they have to battle with maddening ex-communist authorities and highly suspicious locals. However, through this, they get to see the crippling legacies that communism and the recent war have left in the lives of their new neighbours.
Although largely a light hearted tale, the book is also a heartfelt insight into a community trying to adjust to being members of the EU and the ways of the Western World.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review

I don't read novels like this very often, not usually my first choice. However when I read about this book and the island it made me think about  a movie called The Decoy Bride. The MC in the movie writes a lovely travel guide about a small island. Her travel guide is thoughtful, humorous and heartfelt.

While this book is a story more than a travel guide I feel it had a lot of those same qualities: it was thoughtfully written you can tell the author loves the island of Vis and the people even though they sometimes butt heads with the locals. It was funny with bits lik (one of my favorite lines) :I, of course, stuck out like an ancient Briton in animal skins on a Gay Pride parade. Above all else this story is being told with emotion,

There were beautiful passages like this:
That evening I sat on the terrace with a glass of Bozo’s red watching the sun melt into the hills like a burning ember. It tinged the clouds with pink, and turned the surface of the bay into a shimmer of orange mercury. Below me in the courtyard, the swallows on their last flight of the day were doing figures of eight round the columns, and the scent of the jasmine came wafting up to the terrace.

That made me wish I was living on  that island as well. The author tells it like this is such a beautiful and fun, peaceful place to live. I always thought being outside a city wold kill me, I grew up in a small town after all, but the author makes me re think this.

The people and events in this story, like Constantin and Ivana, are full of life and character. This was VERY well written.

I did have a hard time figuring out, was this novel completely non fiction? Is it fiction with non fiction aspects? Are the people and events real or just based on things that kind of happened? The discloser at the beginning makes me think that this story is the author's recollection, but I can't be sure. I don't like being confused by a novel so that's why four stars instead of five.

Give this a go, even if it isn't your normal fair, you might be surprised.