In the hardscrabble villages of northern Greece, strength is the only measure of a girl’s beauty. But Maria Christina is delicate, nearsighted, unmarried at 17 – already a spinster, in a town with few choices– and hopeless. She’s overshadowed by Matoula, the nimble, radiant older sister whom she loves but envies. Worse still, she smolders with shameful desire for handsome, worldly Yiannis, Matoula’s husband, a doctor from sophisticated Athens.
It’s the bitter winter of 1940, war just over the horizon, the Axis Powers massing to invade. All the able-bodied men have gone to defend the border. The women must supply their food and clothing, their bandages and bullets – on foot over mountain trails, by starlight, through deep snow. But only those deemed strong may help. Not Maria Christina. For her that’s just another humiliation.
Defiantly, she joins Matoula on a supply run. And then her worst nightmare comes true: it is strong, deserving Matoula who dies. Yiannis is left a widower, torn between commitment to the resistance, where his skills are desperately needed, and responsibility for Zoitsa, the young daughter Matsoula bore him.
War rages on – against the Italians, then the Germans, and then heartbreaking civil strife among the Greeks themselves. Conflict burns within Maria Christina and Yiannis, too. They are engulfed by passion, separated by duty to country, bonded by common loss and devoured by Maria Christina’s guilt at surviving her more beautiful, capable sister.
A vivid epic of calamity and longing, of modernity vanquishing tradition, Matoula’s Echo makes just one fragile promise of redemption in the form of Maria Christina’s new awakening.
Praise For This Epic Greek Historical Fiction Romance Novel.
“A phenomenal achievement, not only because it tackles the great themes – war and civil war, heroism and sacrifice, love and loss, joy and misery, inner conflict and struggle merely to survive – but because it handles them so adroitly.”
— Dr Darcy Powers, Professor of English at the University of Denver
About The Author Of Matoula’s Echo, A Greek Romance Novel.
After studying with Lee Strasberg at his Carnegie Hall class in New York, Richard Romanus and his wife, Anthea Sylbert wrote and produced two long form television movies: “Giving Up the Ghost” in 1998 and “If You Believe” in 1999, (nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Best Original Screenplay).
Mr. Romanus’ interest in Greek historical fiction started in college through films like Zorba the Greek and Never on Sunday. He finally left Hollywood (his wife is from Greece) and built a house on the island of Skiathos where he has written two other books available in Greek and in English: ACT III, a memoir about retiring to a small Greek island, and Sketches of Skiathos, a series of short stories about the island, its character and people.
Matoula’s Echo, A Greek Historical Fiction Romance Novel, is Mr. Romanus’ first novel in the women’s fiction category. He might look familiar to you, as he appeared as a character actor in the in films and TV shows like The Sopranos, Rockford Files, Foul Play, Mean Streets, and If You Believe.
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