When a fatal boat accident happens in a small village on a Greek island, it leads four travellers from four different countries to strike up an unlikely friendship. They are all trying to escape personal problems and resolve them by travelling.
The four main characters are very likable, as well as the supporting Greek characters, but they are all mostly cookie-cutter, only defined by the big struggle in their life, and they all have one. Thomas doesn’t know how to handle his relationship with his young son who is living with his ex-wife and her new husband, while David can’t deal with being expected to take over his father’s business because his interests lie elsewhere. Fiona has taken up with a man that her family and friends disapprove of, and Elsa is escaping a relationship with her overbearing boss. Two of the Greek characters have lost all contact with their respective sons. So they all have some kind of interpersonal problems, mostly with family members, and have in order been alienated from people they love. And the crux of the matter is that it is mostly their own stubbornness that is holding them back, and things could be resolved quite easily, if they could just get out of their own way.
While there is not a lot of meat to these characters, I’m okay with their depiction except for that of Fiona’s boyfriend who is more caricature than realistic character. He is a straightforward villain with no redeeming qualities and only some vague hints at a difficult childhood. His villainy is so blatant that it is unfathomable why anyone would love him or delude themselves into thinking that he loves them. There should have been a more nuanced approach because it would have made Fiona’s struggle a lot more believable, and her character a lot less annoying.
Even though there is also some romanticizing of the “simple life” in a small village on a remote island, it’s not too bad, and when Fiona gets it into her head to settle there, people explain to her why it is not a feasible idea. I also appreciate that there is not a perfect ending for all of the characters because that would definitely have pushed the story into cheesy territory. Overall, this is a good comfort read that’s not going to challenge you in any way, but it definitely will make you want to go to Greece.
CBR13 Bingo: Travel