Monday, July 20, 2015

G619 Book Review of The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Name of Book: The Sunrise

Author: Victoria Hislop

ISBN: 978-0-06-239609-9

Publisher: Harper

Type of book: 1972-1975, future, Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot, riot, fighting, surviving, wealth, expense, gender roles, Cyprus Famagusta, hotel, affair, rape

Year it was published: 2015


Internationally bestselling author Victoria Hislop delivers a stirring novel set during the 1974 Cypriot coup d'état that tells the intersecting stories of three families devastated by the conflict. . .

Summer 1972—Famagusta is Cyprus's most desirable tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Aphroditi Papacostas and her husband, Savvas, own The Sunrise, a wildly successful new luxury hotel. Frequented by only the very wealthiest of Europe's elite, The Sunrise quickly becomes the place to see and be seen. Yet beneath the veneer of tranquil opulence simmers mounting hostility between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Years of unrest and ethnic violence come to a head when, in 1974, Greece's coup d'état provokes a Turkish attack on beautiful Famagusta.

The fallout sends the island's inhabitants spiraling into fear and chaos, and the Papacostases join an exodus of people who must abandon their idyllic lives in Famagusta and flee to refugee camps. In the end, only two families remain in the decimated city: the Georgious and the Özkans. One is Greek Cypriot, the other Turkish Cypriot, and the tension between them is palpable. But with resources scarce and the Turkish militia looming large, both families must take shelter in the deserted hotel as they battle illness, hunger, fear, and their own prejudices while struggling to stay alive.

The Sunrise is a poignant story about the measures we take to protect what we love.


There are a lot of characters in The Sunrise, and all I know are basics about them; Aphroditi is the wealthy and gorgeous wife of Savvas who owns the hotel and he has very ambitious plans to go further. Savvas is best described as selfish who doesn't see how his actions hurt or affect those around him. Aphroditi is a bit more complex character that cares about appearances and wants to be equal with her husband in all footings instead of being seen as a trophy wife. Markos is the talented bartender on whom Savvas begins to rely more and more, but Savvas treats Markos as a workhorse rather than awarding him for his hard work. Markos also has many sides to him and is very manipulative who is not above in gaining money or revenge on those who wrong him. Other main characters such as Huseyin and the Ozkans and Georgious families are not well developed as those three characters.


What can be promising can be brutally killed


The story is written in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view, that of the Greek and Turkish families that resides on Cyprus, from Markos', Aphroditi's, Aphroditi's husband's? point of view and so forth. While the city of Famagusta and the island of Cyprus really came alive in the book, (any chance I can experience the world within The Sunrise?) The characters weren't as alive or fleshed out as I had hoped. Mainly I had hoped to understand Markos more, and at some points he really confused and frustrated me.

Author Information:
(From TLC)

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About Victoria Hislop32517

Victoria Hislop is the internationally bestselling author ofThe Island and The Return. She writes travel features for the Sunday TelegraphMail on SundayHouse & Garden, and Woman & Home. She divides her time among rural Kent, London, and Crete. She is married and has two children.
Find out more about Victoria at her website and connect with her on Twitter.


What a gorgeously written book! In an odd way, it really reminded me Chasing the Sun by Natalie Sylvester, Also, after reading the novel, I really want to travel to the book's location and experience the world the way it was described in The Sunrise. The description and beginning scenes are the strongest points of the book and they were enough to draw me in and not let me go. However, I do feel that the characters, at least that of Markos, needs to be worked on more, and although I understood the consequences of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Riots as well as what it has done, I still do not really understand why the conflict occurred because we only catch glimpses of the people that are destined to be involved in the conflict while the main body of the people are victims. I also am confused about why some families decided to stay behind rather than escape? What I also had fun is figuring out Aphroditi and Markos. Aphroditi the goddess of love, and was heavily worshiped on the island of Cyprus, while Markos, interestingly, is the first book in the christian testament. (Markos being the Greek version of Mark) I am wondering if this is symbolism for supplanting the dominant culture?

This is for TLC Book Tours

Victoria’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, July 8th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, July 9th: Novel Escapes
Friday, July 10th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Tuesday, July 14th: bookchickdi
Monday, July 20th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, July 21st: Lit and Life
Wednesday, July 22nd: she treads softly
Friday, July 24th: Raven Haired Girl
Friday, July 31st: Many Hats
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)


  1. I love books that can really transport me to another place. I think that's a gift particular to some authors!

  2. Hi Sveta, I sent you an email and it was rejected...concerning the review of '89 Walls, can you email me?


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