Hey Everyone! Today is actually going to be my Fresh Face Friday post. I haven’t been feeling well lately and didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. So, better late than never I am featuring Henriette Lazaridis Power’s book, The Clover House. This is a great mix of contemporary and historical fiction. It blends the history of a country and the history of a family in with today’s world. It’s a wonderful mystery that you can’t wait to find out the truth. For my whole review be sure to check it out after the book blurb. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
A phone call from her cousin sends Calliope Notaris Brown from Boston to the Greek city of Patras to sort through an inheritance from her uncle. She arrives during the wild abandon of Carnival, when the world is turned upside down and things are not as they seem. Digging through the keepsakes her uncle has left, Callie stumbles upon clues to the wartime disappearance of the family’s fortune and to the mystery of her estranged mother’s chronic unhappiness. As she pieces together family secrets that stretch back to the Italian occupation of Greece during World War II, Callie’s relationship with her fiancé, her mother, and her mother’s two sisters will change irrevocably
In The Clover House, Callie is made to come back to Greece after her cousin calls to inform her that her favorite uncle has died. This is unwelcome news on all fronts. She has not returned to Greece since she had a falling out with her mother five years prior. But, Callie feels the pull of familial obligation and of mystery. Her mother has always been cold to her but she is especially acting strange now that her uncle has left Callie all of his belongings. Callie is unsure about all this but to top things off she is having her own problems with her fiancée. Choosing to flee to Greece to uncover what her uncle wants her to she is also running from her problems at home. Upon her arriving she finds herself immersed in lives that have long passed and the stories she has always known are marred with truths long since past. Callie takes it upon herself to unravel these mysteries that may give her some understanding as to why her mother is the way she is and why she also is the way she is. What Callie discovers along the way will change not only her but her family.
This was a highly enjoyable read. I loved the mystery and the history of the book. Most of all I enjoyed the truth Callie finds then reading the real unmarred truth. The history of the Greek involvement in WWII and occupation through the eyes of a family that was impacted to severely was phenomenal. I am a huge history buff and to read a story such as this is wonderful. In a story such as this it was masterfully done to show that even during war children and teenagers still make mistakes. Only during this time they have much more far-reaching consequences. It wasn’t just the history of this story though. It was the cultural and familial structure that is shown so well. Clio and Callie’s relationship was still quite unknown by the end of the book, but I feel with the discoveries that Callie had she understood why she was the way she was. Her mother was always spoiled but she hid such darkened depths that only one other person knew. It is the complexities of family and how they mold your life that is very much illustrated. You can see that with Callie’s decisions with her own life and how her mother’s negligence disguised as leniency allowed Callie to be reckless. Overall, this is a fantastic book and if you like history, not only world but personal you will love The Clover House.
Henriette Lazaridis Power is a first-generation Greek American who has degrees in English literature from Middlebury College; Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and the University of Pennsylvania. She taught at Harvard for ten years, serving as an academic dean for four of those. She is the founding editor of The Drum, a literary magazine publishing exclusively in audio form. A competitive rower, Power trains regularly on the Charles River in Boston.