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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