on May 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM
The Clover House by Henriette Lazaridis Power is a novel thick with heritage, history, and complicated relationships. The story alternates between Calliope (Callie) Notaris Brown-- in her
thirties in the present-- and her mother Clio-- in her teenage years in 1940's Greece.
After Callie's beloved Uncle
Nestor-- her mother's brother, the unofficial family historian-- dies
and leaves her with his house and belongings, she leaves for Patras (Clio's hometown) to
sort through everything.
As the plot unfolds we
learn more about the Notaris family struggles during WWII, the
relationships among the family members in the past and present, and the
secrets and resentments harbored for many years. The novel also delves into Callie's apprehensions with her recent engagement-- a "commitment-phobia" originating from witnessing her parents' unhappy marriage-- as well as her rocky relationship with her mother.
(The author is first-generation Greek-American)
its core the book is about not allowing your past to dominate your future--reconciling the two to
form your cohesive self. And it is partly about
finding a balance between nationality and ethnicity in your identity
(as a second-generation Greek-American woman, that is something I really appreciate).
Clover House paints the Grecian landscape for the reader, offering an honest
portrayal of relationships, a realistic rendition of war, revolution, loss, and a very unique history and culture. This is a valuable, thought-provoking read that I highly recommend.
(pictures are borrowed from author's website and publisher's website)