Sophia Mou, Thank you for saving me from myself. I know you will be magnificent tonight.
Love, Dino (from Evanthia’s Gift, by Effie Kammenou)
I haven’t written a book review in a long time so I am well overdue. I guarantee you this book is worth the wait.
I have been following the blog “Cheffie’s Kitchen” for about a year. I’m not sure how I found Effie Kammenou but I’m so glad I did. Her blog is filled with stories and old world Greek recipes, the kind I grew up on. As a matter of fact, my mother Katherine and I love to look over Effie’s blog and see what she’s cooking.
So when I saw that Effie wrote a multigenerational Greek love story entitled “Evanthia’s Gift”, I was intrigued. I wrote to her and she offered to send me a copy to read. It was a few weeks before all the holiday hoopla and Jim’s hip surgery was coming up. I began the book and loved it from the get go. It was reminiscent of my heritage, my family, and a love for all things Greek.
I finally finished the book this past weekend. I chose to savor it and not rush through it. When I finally began to dig in last week and dedicate myself to reading it, I could hardly put it down.
Here’s a few bits and pieces about the story, just to tease you. It starts out in the 50’s and Anastacia Fotopoulos is pregnant. Her husband does something unthinkable and Ana goes off and running to her family. Of course they fix the whole problem (they’re Greeks!) and Ana goes on to meet and fall madly in love with Alexandros Giannokos (what a name!). The child is born and they name her Sophia. The Giannokos and their other Greek neighbors, The Papadakis’, are very close and do everything together. The Papadakis’ have a son and daughter. The son is Dino. From the time they are little children, Dino watches over and protects his Sophia Mou.
As he grows up, Dino begins to object to his father’s strenuous adherences to Greek heritage and culture. Of course this causes a rift between him and his father. This affects Dino and Sophia’s relationship as well. You can probably guess what happens but I’ll tell you this. Their lives are like all others; the very good moments intertwined with the seriously challenging. Things do not go smooth for Sophia and Dino and I could not predict (as I usually can do) where this book was going to go. But their love and devotion to each other is the kind you wish and hope for in your life. They are madly, passionately in love.
During the holidays, the two families cook up a storm and Effie puts her magical Greek recipes in between chapters of the book. Tantalizing recipes for baklava, revani, tiropita, pastisio, and many more. You can practically feel yourself sitting at the table and eating along with the Giannokos and Papadakis families for Easter and Christmas.
Effie’s writing style is engaging. She weaves this story effortlessly, smoothly, and in such a warm fashion. I am in awe of how she sets us up at the end for the next book. Bravo Effie! I can’t wait to read it!
Click HERE for the Amazon Link. Kindle Unlimited readers- it is free.
Click HERE for the Barnes and Noble link.
Click HERE for Cheffie’s Kitchen.