Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time. Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland’s traditions and culture. Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost? A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn’t always as imagined.
About the Author:
Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.
Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education. She is a mother of three boys.
She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes as well as proof reading and other writing services.
Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.
When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!
She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and The Summer Will Come is her second novel. She is currently working on a third novel Trust is a Big Word about an on-line illicit relationship that develops between two people.
And now Soulla Christodoulou:
Thank you for inviting me to post as part of the blog tour for the launch of The Summer Will Come out on 25th March 2015. I thought long and hard about what I could share with you and then I remembered how my family has always celebrated ‘Name Days’. So I asked my mum about them and did a little research of my own too.
In Cyprus ‘Name Days’ traditionally are celebrated more than actual birthdays which weren’t even registered until the 1900s in Cyprus. This is because in Cyprus, and across Greece too, children are typically named after a Patron Saint of their region,
with the eldest son often being named after his paternal grandfather, and the eldest daughter after her paternal grandmother. This is why it’s common to see a continuation of names in the family line and often cousins within the same family will share names too.
I looked up Saint Days for the Greek Orthodox Church and found that every day of the year, with no exception, is dedicated to the memory of at least one saint or martyr and in some cases there are more than one to celebrate on each day. (you can view the calendar by clicking HERE).
So what do we do to celebrate our ‘Name Day’? Traditionally, in Cyprus the person celebrating their Name Day has a party and invites all their family and friends who bring gifts of food, flowers and presents. It is a party for all so whoever wants to join in can and in the villages very often the party continues all day and in the evening. The host will have food and drinks ready and will welcome everyone into their home as a way of rejoicing together. My ‘Name Day’, my full name is Anastasia, was celebrated on the 22nd January – I cooked a special meal for my family and I received lots of wishes and phone calls wishing me a happy ‘Name Day’. If I was living in Cyprus I am in no doubt that my neighbours and friends would have come over for a drink and even a dance and wished me Xponia bolla! – may you be blessed with many years!
Each Greek Orthodox Church is also named after a saint, therefore there are also community celebrations for its ‘Name Day’, known as panigiria, which include food, fireworks and fairs. On the eve of the saint’s day, villagers and street-vendors may gather in the grounds of the patron saint’s church to sell local delicacies and homemade gifts and bric-a-brac.
So following in the Greek tradition why not look up your ‘Name Day’ date and if you need an excuse that is, use it as just that and have a party with your friends and family. Thank you and happy ‘Name Day’ to you all.
Thank you to Soulla Christodoulou for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!
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