When Maud learns that her husband has been killed in a car accident, she is left bereft and bewildered. She has no idea why he was driving on a lonely coastal road outside Athens in the middle of the night.
But Nikitas was a man with a complicated history. With the return of his mother, Antigone, to the old family home on Paradise Street, Maud is given an opportunity to investigate her husband’s past. She will discover a heartbreaking story of a young mother caught up in the political tides of the Greek Civil War and forced to make a terrible decision that will blight not only her life but that of future generations.
The House on Paradise Street is an epic tale of our times. Taking the reader from the war-torn streets of 1940s Athens to the partisans’ mountain caves after the war, through the ‘Regime of the Colonels’ and on into the present day, this is a sweeping tale of love and loss, and what happens when ideology threatens to subsume our sense of humanity.
“A beautifully written and timely book that brings into dramatic focus the tragedy of Greece’s recent history.” – John Humphreys
“A fiercely absorbing, passionate novel.” – Guardian
“I can t remember when I was so totally absorbed by a book… Enthralling, moving and wise.” – Cressida Connolly
“A captivating novel that embraces the last turbulent 70 years of Greek history.” – Mariella Frostrup
“Zinovieff s portrayal of Greece is beautiful and believable, engaging all the senses.” – Spectator
“An engrossing saga of a family riven by ideological conflict and fractured by war.” – Observer
“That rare thing: a beautifully written novel which is a great read. It is also a compelling guide to the last sixty years of Greek history at this very troubled time for Europe and for all of us.” – Vesna Goldsworthy, Author of Chernobyl Strawberries
“A broad and enriching story of the early 20th century in Greece… The significance of worry beads; the protracted rites of grieving forced upon Greek widows; the carob trees that line the streets of Athens. An expansive historical framework governs the action of this impressive debut, but it is Zinovieff’s scrupulous eye for cultural curiosity which gives the story its sinew and underlying humility.” – Independent
“An arresting, finely woven first novel which… offers compelling insight into the pathologies that Greeks still bring to their relations with outsiders.” – Economist
Sofka Zinovieff has published two acclaimed works of non-fiction, Eurydice St, a Place in Athens and The Red Princess, a biography of her paternal grandmother. She lives, with her husband and two daughters, in Greece.