CHASING ATHENS: A book review
Marissa Tejada’s Debut Novel
When Ava Martin’s new husband unexpectedly ditches her months after they’ve relocated across the world to Greece, the heartbroken American ex-pat isn’t sure where home is anymore. On the verge of flying back to the States with her tail between her legs, she makes an abrupt decision to follow her gut instead and stay on in Greece. She soon discovers that the tumultuous, culture-rich Mediterranean country is coloring her life in a way no place else can, changing her forever. But is it where she belongs?
There’s one thing expats go through at some point in life: trying to define the word home. It is never easy, it involves effort, tears and disappointment, even if you suspect where it is that you belong, even if you know that you do belong. Finding home is much more about finding yourself than you might think. A task that is stressful enough on its own, made even more difficult when it comes together with extra unexpected stress. One thing is certain, you must be a skillful story-teller to depict all this tension even through humorous situations.
Marissa Tejada wit medias res introduction unfolds the story into very a funny situation. Right from the beginning and by doing so, we know how skillful she is in telling her story; it becomes addictive as from page one; as the author paints a funny but also introspective picture of Ava Martin, a candid, yet smart and complex character going through a journey of personal growth in the middle of a new – and rather different – environment.
The journalist turns into a skillful fiction writer
Getting to know a new land goes hand in hand with getting to know herself. Discovering a new culture mixes in harmony with the realization of who Ava is indeed, what she might become, what her feelings are and what she wants for herself. A double journey of revelation, both of inner and outer worlds. Journeys made real by unexpected situations, the beauty of Greece and interesting secondary characters well portrayed in their uniqueness. Skillfully described through typically Greek traits, expressions and dialogue; they are all ingredients that show an author that is also a critical observer of the reality surrounding her.
A romantic travel through Athens, lovable even in its chaotic reality. A book about decisions, discovery and independence, also about belonging, trusting new people and being who you are meant to be, even if you are yet to know what that might mean.
About the Author:
Native New Yorker Marissa Tejada is an author, travel writer and freelance journalist loving expat life in Athens, Greece. Her work has been featured in CNN Travel, Forbes, Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast, enRoute and more. She regularly posts about her travel experiences on her blog My Greece, My Travels.
Marissa enjoys traveling around Europe and discovering its diverse history, languages and cultures. Living in Greece, she has grown a soft-spot for the whitewashed buildings and clear blue seas of the Cycladic islands.
Thanks to Marissa for offering me a complimentary copy of Chasing Athens for a Review. I was not compensated for this post, I received a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.