When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

When-the-Cypress-Whispers-200x300I received this book from the publisher, HarperCollins, in exchange for an honest review.

After Daphne lost the love of her life, Alex, in an accident, it took her a long time to find happiness again. Now she is on her way to Greece where her wedding to her fiancé, Stephen, will take place. Daphne, the daughter of Greek immigrants, is finally living the American dream – owner of an upscale Manhattan restaurant (and a nose job!).

Daphne has a special relationship with her Yia-yia (grandmother) who lives on the beautiful island called Erikousa. Her daughter Evie, who is normally very introverted, seems to open up to her Greek relatives almost immediately and seems very happy there. Even Daphne herself noticed the change in herself too, however Stephen, when he eventually makes it to the island just before the wedding, doesn’t seem to like his surroundings.

Daphne doesn’t like her grandmother’s new friend Yianni , but soon warms up to him when she learns about his family’s history with her grandmother: Yia-yia saved his family from the Nazis during World War II. Daphne, who thought that she and Yia-yia doesn’t have secrets, are shocked by what she learnt about her grandmother’s past.

The descriptions of the setting was great, not that I needed any reminder of how beautiful a country Greece is, it sounds absolutely idyllic. However, there is one other aspect of the novel that I found just as interesting to read about: the food! Story-wise, the story about Daphne, a woman who finds herself and her happiness is your typical woman’s fiction story, however with The Cypress Whispers, there are some historical fiction thrown in as well as some myths.

I enjoyed reading this story and I found the mythical elements interesting. Yia-yia sure is a remarkable woman in the way she cares for her family and others and especially in her unconditional love for Daphne. I have even liked Daphne as a character too. Yianni on the other hand was for most part of the book not a favourite character. I felt that he judged Daphne a bit too harshly, but when we learn more about his history, I guess his behavior can be justified – but only a little bit. Overall I think that I would have liked the novel a lot more if the story about Daphne and Yianni’s grandmother were expanded on, but I enjoyed the read nonetheless. I think that if you enjoy women’s fiction or just an easy read you’ll like this one. Plus, it plays off on an idyllic Greek island – it’s like a little getaway in a book!

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  • I should love to know more about Greece. A fine review. 🙂

    • Thank you! Greece does look and sound amazing.

  • Great review! The descriptions of the food, the details about the countryside, and Daphnia’s yia-yia were pretty much my favourite parts of the novel 🙂

    • Thanks Lianne! I second that. The food make me HUNGRY!

  • I liked this book. Now I want to visit Greece!

    • I want to do the same 🙂

  • I think I would enjoy it

  • I didn’t love the plot in this one, but I agree completely about the setting. It made me really want to visit Greece someday, it sounded so beautiful!

    • I know. That and the food! Greece is no doubt a beautiful country.

  • Love the cover and it sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing your review.

    • It is a nice cover and the references to food is mouth watering 🙂

  • I’m not sure about the mythical elements but the Greek setting is very appealing to me.

    • Ah, yes, the Greek gods etc… The setting is great, I love how it was described and the food sounded very appetising. Made me want to go visit a Greek restaurant and try some of the dishes! Thanks for stopping by.

  • I’m pretty sure that this just topped the list of books that I must-read! I always wanted to have my own wedding in Greece (it’s also been my dream vacation since I was about 7 years old). We ended up marrying in Florida b/c International weddings are challenging and I still haven’t had that dream vacation but I’m thinking a romantic / women’s fiction in Greece might just scratch that itch.

    • I think Greece is a beautiful place to get married! Whenever I think of Greek islands, I imagine that movie Meryl Streep Mamma Mia. I’d love to have my wedding on such a beautiful island. I think you should go on that vacation! I hope that you enjoy this read if you pick it up.

  • Ooh so it is like you went on a mini vacation to Greece reading this book 🙂

    • I definitely did, Julie! 🙂

  • This sounds wonderful and I love how the author brought the foods, smells and setting to life. I would love to visit Greece Melinda 🙂

    • I would love to visit it too. I’m a foodie, so those food references were enticing 🙂

  • I wanted a happy ending!~

  • Have never read a book set in Greece so this is very tempting. Plus, I love the food aspect of the book!

    • The food definitely made me crave Greek food! Greece is a beautiful country, it’s the first book I’ve read where the setting was Greece. I’m glad I picked this book, even though I wanted more.

  • I like women’s fiction, and I like Greece… And I LOVE Greek food. Sign me up!

    • You are going to love the food references then!

  • Greece and food. Sounds like a great combination! Too bad the relationship isn’t that expanded. I love character development and descriptions, but the scenery descriptions make up for it, right?

    • Yes that made up for it. It’s just a nice easy read. There were some character growth also. I just really wanted the historical part to be expanded on, because… I love wartime stories 🙂

  • I like reading about myths so that’s appealing, as is the setting and history elements. It does sound like the characters could’ve been better, especially Yianni give the back-story, but in general it sounds a nice book.

    • It really is a nice book if you’re only looking for an easy read, or a nice woman’s fiction read. I don’t really like myths too much, but in this book it was kind of interesting.

  • momssmallvictories

    Oh Greece, on the top of my bucket list! This sounds like one I would enjoy for the Around the World in 80 Books Reading Challenge I am doing. Thanks for sharing with #smallvictoriessundaylinky last week. Sorry I’m late commenting/pinning but do hope you link up again this week !

    • Hi Tanya. I think so too – that it will be great for that challenge.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this. Great review!