Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Greek Maiden and the English Lord



By Patty Apostolides

Reviewed by Kristina Emmons

The Greek Maiden and the English Lord is a story of a girl who is half English, half Greek, who, as a small girl, is lost to her family during the brutal Ottoman invasion in Greece in 1821 while visiting there with her mother. Found by a gypsy woman, who is a fortune-teller by trade, Lily is in turn raised as a gypsy, needing to wear a black wig to conceal her naturally blonde hair.

When Lily is sixteen she is told by her guardian, Mirela, of her true identity.  Mirela uses her friendship with a wealthy English woman to have Lily secretly escorted to England to find her father before the leader of the gypsies can take Lily as his wife.  In England Lily is passed through various hands, as her father is out to sea and cannot claim her, nor can they reach him with the news of her return.  Until he can return she is sent by a cousin to a preparatory boarding school for girls, where she learns all that is necessary to become game for well-bred suitors who are looking to marry.

In a twist, a handsome English Lord who crossed paths with Lily while she was with the gypsies is encountered again through the school, and he shows himself to be a perfect gentleman.  But he is engaged to be married.  Meanwhile Lily receives word that her father has died in a shipwreck, and with no way to confirm she is his daughter, she is left on her own, the debt of her expensive studies on her shoulders.  Lily’s struggle to find identity and grasp her heart’s desire spurs the reader to continue on to a satisfying conclusion.

The Greek Maiden and the English Lord is an enjoyable story with a romantic early nineteenth century backdrop. The author was thoughtfully well-rounded in the writing to make the reader feel a part of each scene.  I did find the conversations in the book to be clumsy at times, but the fate of the heroine and the burgeoning romance between Lily and Mr. Grant were compelling enough to wade through to the end.

The Greek Maiden and the English Lord can be purchased at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or through Ms. Apostolides’ webpage at: http://pattyapostolides.com/books.html