Daughters of The Labyrinth
‘An immersive novel, steeped in the history and folklore of Crete: transporting, historically informative story-telling’ Sunday Times
‘A moving, superbly written exploration of a family with dark secrets. Crete itself becomes one of the main characters in the story’ Irish Times, Best Books 2021
This was my home. This harbour and sea. These golden alleys. But the town I grew up in has disappeared.
Ri is a successful international artist who has worked in London all her life. When her English husband dies she turns to her Greek roots on Crete, island of mass tourism and ancient myth, only to discover they are not what she thought. As Brexit looms in the UK, and Greece grapples with austerity and the refugee crisis, she finds under the surface of her home not only proud memories of resisting foreign occupation but a secret, darker history. As an artist, she has lived by seeing and observing. Now she discovers how much she has not seen, and finds within herself the ghost of someone she never even heard of. Unearthing her parents’ stories transforms Ri’s relationships to her family and country, her identity and her art.
Lyrical, unsettling and evocative, Daughters of the Labyrinth explores the power of buried memory and the grip of the past on the present, and questions how well we can ever know our own family.
‘Daughters of the Labyrinth is a novel about a daughter’s passionate quest for the truth about what happened to her parents in Crete during the German occupation. It is also a sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete itself, its landscape and culture. Ruth Padel’s brings a poet’s eye to this world of great physical beauty and gnarled legacy’ Colm Toibin
Daughters of the Labyrinth is a novel about a daughter's passionate quest for the truth about what happened to her parents in Crete during the German occupation. It is also a sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete itself, its landscape and culture. Ruth Padel's brings a poet's eye to this world of great physical beauty and gnarled legacy * Colm Toibin * Ruth Padel brings a poet's ear for internal musical pattern, and deep and loving knowledge of the stones, light and colours of Crete, as she winds us into coils within coils of a family's dark history. She combines dramatic storytelling with moving reflectiveness, asking us to think again about whether it is better to remember or to forget? * Marina Warner *
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