The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

The sunrise

I was lucky enough to receive two copies of ‘The Sunrise’ by Victoria Hislop; one from Caitlin Raynor at Headline via Bookbridgr and the other from Joanne Finney through the Good Housekeeping Book Room on Facebook.

The story begins as Savvas and Aphrodite Papacosta are opening an opulent new hotel in the Cypriot town of Famagusta little realising the political turmoil that is about to put their wealth and lives at stake.

‘The Sunrise’ is a good book. Well written, it is thoroughly researched and blends the events of the 1970s with fiction to make an intelligent narrative as the invasion of Samagusta takes place. It is historically and geographically interesting and accurate.

However, I was disappointed. I loved Victoria Hislop’s previous books, especially ‘The Island’,  and ‘The Sunrise’ felt flat in comparison. The pace seemed pedestrian and slow so that I found my mind wandering a bit as I read.

Other than Frau Bruchmeyer, I found I didn’t empathise with many of the characters. I thought much of the writing was more like a non-fiction telling of the facts than a fictionalised narrative showing the reader the details, and it wasn’t until the latter part of the text that it felt like I was reading a novel as the writing became more cinematic and vibrant. In fact, the part of the book I enjoyed the most was the historical essay at the end of the novel where I really felt Victoria Hislop’s narrative voice had returned.

I am sure there will be many who thoroughly enjoy ‘The Sunrise’. I did enjoy it, but I had hoped to be enthralled and sadly this wasn’t the case.

9 thoughts on “The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

  1. I enjoyed your review, thank you. It thought it was an excellent book bringing this really difficult period of time to a wider audience. But for me it lacked credibility in parts, which took the edge off the whole book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I loved The Island – what a shame you didn’t enjoy this one so much. It’s disappointing when you like other books the author has written to find one that doesn’t quite do it for you isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Beswick says:

    Agree entirely with your review Linda. I am as we speak 75% into the book and find my mind drifting to the next book to be read! Thoroughly enjoyed both The Island and The Return but slightly left wanting with this one…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I struggle with this one. One hand it really brought a period of history to life that has probably receded in many people’s memories, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by the plot – research was a bit wobbly though…

    Liked by 1 person

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