In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets – ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.
The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean,
who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.
EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is such a beautifully written story that begins in 1956 with Anastacia Fotopoulos fleeing her home and husband after he has betrayed her in the most unforgivable way possible. Her husband is unaware that she is having his baby, something that she will keep from him as she finds it impossible to forgive him.
The story follows Anastacia and her daughter through their lives, loves and two continents. It is a time when old traditions collide with the modern world and rebellious teenagers. I loved learning about Greek traditions and cultures and was absolutely delighted with the delicious recipes that were shared in the story. I shall try out some of these myself in the future.
There were strong bonds between families that I loved as they were always there for each other in good and bad times but some of the traditions were hard for the second generation in the story to follow, especially in the USA. This became a costly rebellious action for one young man in terms of losing who he loved for the sake of making a point. I really did cringe at his actions. It really was a matter of cutting his nose off to spite his face. I really could not believe what he sacrificed and my heart sank.
There is such a lot of love in this book, not just between couples but between families too. Times when a mother holds back waiting for her child to come to her to be comforted because she knows her child is hurting but also a child thinking she is protecting her mother by keeping things from her. So many times I recognised my own feelings in them. Heart ache and love. Just such a lovely book of life.
I am looking forward to reading the second book in The Gift Sage in New Year.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.
Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.
Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category. Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.
Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.
Member of Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association & Romance Writers of America
For updates on promotions and the release of Book Three in The Gift Saga
THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE SERIES