TRAVEL BOOK REVIEW
AN OCTOPUS IN MY OUZO,
Loving Life on a Greek Island
Whenever I receive a book to read and comment on the blog I try to be as clean as possible, that meaning, I try not to read anything about it, nor about the author, nor –when possible– about the place where the book comes from. I want to have an honest approach. An Octopus in my Ouzo by Jennifer Barclay didn’t make things easy, news kept coming, I tried not to look, not to hear, to focus on my stuff. I worked on the Octopus at night. Reading for a review and reading for pleasure are quite different things… I’m not saying that you won’t get pleasure from reading for a review, you just need an extra dose of concentration. You don’t go as completely offline as when you read for fun.
Well, An Octopus in my Ouzo removed me from idle and sent me offline… and more! It sent me to Tilos with a regretful return ticket because it ended too soon. I might as well have stayed there for a couple of weeks. I’ve never been to Tilos, so I had to rely completely on the author’s voice to picture the scenery, the perfumes, the shades, the sounds. And every night, while reading,
I used to say to myself “Now… you should take your iPad and look for some pictures of Tilos to see how Megalo Horio looks like. Ok… Ok, no, wait. One more chapter, then you take your iPad. Ok, no…! Tomorrow, better tomorrow”. And I kept going like that, night after night. Do you see? I actually didn’t need to look for the landscapes, because Jennifer had already shown them.
Life goes after you
And she shows more. Meaningful things. She shows pain naturally. Because it sometimes hurts so much it leaves us speechless. But it belongs to us, it is always a part of us. She learns a lesson and teaches it too. Pain is there and life can’t stop because of pain. Life goes after you, it doesn’t care about pain. A nurse might ease it, but it doesn’t go away. So you take it and accept it.
Life overwhelms you but you still need to laugh, to put out the garbage and buy an extra modem in case of power failure. You still need to swim and remember how much sugar in everyone’s coffee. You still have to mourn. Life overwhelms you but the answer is to live.
Each of these cycles, pain-joy, fishing-cooking, walking-swimming, dancing-mourning have speeds of their own. The same speed our days have. They sometimes fly, they sometimes let us savor it all. An Octopus in my Ouzo, Loving Life on a Greek Island. Precisely, savoring life, loving life. As we do with octopus and ouzo. Every bite of it and every drop of it.
That’s what the living business is all about.
About the author:
Jennifer Barclay grew up in the north of England, in a village on the edge of the Pennines; she left for Greece after university, lived in Canada and France and the south coast of England before moving to a Greek island. She works with books as an editor and agent and writes occasionally for newspapers and magazines. She has previously written Meeting Mr. Kim and Falling in Honey, and her blog about daily life is at: www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.blogspot.com
An Octopus in my Ouzo.
Author: Jennifer Barclay
Special thanks to Lizzie Curtin from Summersdale Publishers Ltd.
Thanks to Lizzie from Summersdale Publishers, for offering me a complimentary copy of An Octopus in My Ouzo 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.
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