Monday, April 3, 2017
Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou **Review**
Women’s fiction/ contemporary romance
Date Published: August 7, 2015
In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.
The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.
EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multi-generational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.
I love reading stories that take me back into time. The way life was lived, how people spoke, dressed, etc. Especially since a couple of my favorite television shows were made during the 50's. Anyway, I bring that up because this story is based in the year of 1956. Not that long ago but such a different time as well.
This story captured my from the synopsis. I loved the Greek culture and Ana. She has such heart and strength. A love story that spans two generations. You start out reading about Alex and Ana's romance and the obstacles and fears they had to overcome in order for their relationship to survive, move on, and grow. Then, their daughter, who happens to love Ana's best friends son. The story becomes even more entangled then it was before. I don't want to give away any spoilers here...so I'll just say that I really enjoyed this read and look forward to sharing my thoughts on the second installment.
Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she'd thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.
Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.
Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category. Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.
Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.
Website: (foodblog) https://cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com
Amazon: Evanthia’s Gift - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013MG484M/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_1lTFxbE4PRKJ3
Waiting For Aegina - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MT6KLN4/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Landing page for both books –
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/evanthias-gift-effie-kammenou/1122620438?ean=9780692471838