In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the Özkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's façade of glamour and success, tension is building.
When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.
Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star
I really enjoyed this book since it addressed a historical period of time that I had previously known nothing about. The island of Cyprus is a beautiful setting and the events of 1974 were so intense as were the relationships in the eye opening novel. I found it hard to connect with the characters but that may be perhaps in part that I found it took me awhile to get them all straight in my head and remember who was who. Once that happened, about a third of the way through, the story became much more intricate and intense quickly and I found myself overpowered by the story.
This story was heartbreaking but I am very glad that Veronica Hislop was able to tell us about a period in time that should not be forgotten. I found it refreshing that I was reading a novel about a modern historical event and what is probably a very important one. It seems like this had a great impact on history and I later learnt that the city itself is still closed off after so many years.
The story did drag on a little bit in the beginning as it was setting the scene with the development of Famagusta, it was hard to see where things were headed as I felt that it could perhaps have been done a little bit more quickly. Maybe I was just impatient for the action to start?!
A fantastic tale with a great historical value, The Sunrise was a shocking yet wonderful read full of lots of factual events coupled with a fictional story to bring it all together. I will definitely be picking up some more of Hislop’s writing in the future.
Thank you to Headline for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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