The Echoes of Love
By Jenny Ashcroft
Echoes of Love is a historical fiction novel that transports readers between the mid to late 1930’s to the 1940’s and then to 1970’s. It takes readers into the depths of love and war and how it reverberates years later. It’s a book I highly recommend. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in my review below. I also thank HQ Stories for the book and extra gifts of delicious Baklava.
Under the Cretan sun, in the summer of 1936, two young people fall in love…
Eleni has been coming to Crete her entire life, swapping her English home for cherished sun-baked summers with her grandfather in his idyllic shoreside villa. When she arrives in 1936, she believes the long, hot weeks ahead will be no different to so many that have gone before.
But someone else is visiting the island that year too: a young German man called Otto. And so begins a summer of innocence lost, and love discovered; one that is finite, but not the end.
When, in 1941, the island falls to a Nazi invasion, Eleni and Otto meet there once more. But this time Eleni has returned to fight for her home, and Otto to occupy it. They are enemies, and their love is not only treacherous, but also dangerous. But will it destroy them, or prove strong enough to overcome the ravages of war?
An epic tale of secrets, love, loyalty, family and how far you’d go to keep those you love safe, The Echoes of Love is an exquisite and deeply moving love letter to Crete – one that will move every reader to tears.
Beginning with a transcript in 1974 about Eleni Adams at Broadcasting House. It is an interesting way to start and leads back to the events in 1936, Crete, with the transcript intercepting the main story, giving extra insights. A dangerous time and not far off the cusp of war as Hitler is on the march and the likes of Punch Magazine depicting the road to war in satirical cartoons and trips through Italy with Mussolini in charge have to be made. The book is set between Portsmouth in the UK and Crete, a Greek island. There’s almost an innocence of how this time must have been, against the ensuing darkness that looms, with Hitler being more in the news reels and then an innocent kitten being around and the emotion surrounding that. The characters do enter war times and everything changes as he begins his invasions and what he thinks of the Jews and of Jazz and Swing music.
It, however, never loses sight of it being a war-time story of love and how things change and how it is remembered. Not everything where love is concerned is simple as the book slips through the three very different time eras with great fluidity.
The book is poignant with the reverberations of love and atrocities of war and what the German Nazis had created can be felt deeply and yet it has beautiful writing that has a truth, and yet a softness and not a coarseness surrounding all the events of the day and the people affected in so many different ways.
At the end is an author’s note about how the book was, in part inspired by her own family and about Crete and more… This is a book I highly recommend you lose yourself in.