H attack and folks there couldn t put the attack and related vents out of mind for a long time To New Yorkers the attack was understandably a HUGE deal It seems strange for a New Yorker to fail to Cannibal even acknowledge the attack and relatedvents in a book covering the time period from late 2001 through December 2002 2 Where s the money coming from Gage mentions at least twice that her father the author Nicholas Gage is paying for the renovation of the family home Fair Mastered (The Enforcers, enough But Eleni Gage has uit her job in NYC to spend almost a year in a tiny Greek village where she never references a paying job Who bought her plane ticket Who s paying for her rental car and its fuel her Greek cell phone and the internet access on the new computer she bought in the city Who s paying for her toat Who s paying the Man, Son of Man expenses for the several side trips she writes about Is she living off her savings Is she getting paid for free lance writing she d doing about her time in Greece Is she living off the advance she received on the deal for this book When a twenty seven year old woman spends a year abroad and doesn t mention gainfulmployment I think the reader deserves to know how such a thing is possible The parts of this book I Alter Ego enjoyed most were the ones where Gagexplained the cultures of her region of Greece Although I m not religious myself I njoyed reading about the villagers Easter preparations I liked reading about the Gypsy wedding Isn t the proper term Roma If so someone should mention that to Gage I liked reading about festivals and dancing and name day celebrationsGage does a great job of weaving Greek history ancient and modern in with her own xperiences I like having context for why people do what they do Gage knows how to give that context The book Uncommon Wisdom ends with six recipes and a bibliography A glossary of Greek terms would have been nice Greek words were defined in the text but I certainly don t remembervery new word I Unseen City encountered while reading this book A glossary would have been a handy reference toolAll in all I didnjoy reading this book but I have no desire to read it again I didn t actually finish this I found it getting too self conscious and including pretty boring dialogue ordinary conversation between family members But I did think it an interesting look at a Greek American going back to the village of her family where her grandmother was murdered and trying to find her roots and Art establish herself in a village where single women were not supposed to be so autonomous Reading North of Ithaka after reading her father s Eleni was a great idea After the sadness of Eleni it was heartwarming to see Eleni Gage bring love and remove fear from the Gatzoyiannis house Also I was able to relate to most of her feelings concerning her being a Greek American While she has the upper hand as she actually speaks Greek I sadly don t but will soon be learning I totally understand the desire to understand and be a part of the homeland I thoroughlynjoyed reading this but I have to say I m a little ticked off because now I want to go on a trip to Greece with my Greek family when I can t afford it The big topic of this book Homecoming No definition is accurate than that home is where you are missed if you are not around And Eleni has a talent to take you in what she finds to be her home inherited and full of lovely people and details Adorable. En by wolves; her immigrant Albanian builders; and the residents of modern day Lia whose feelings about the rebuilding of a house where such terrible vents took place are ambivalent at bestInformed by her knowledge of Greece's folklore literature language and history Eleni's story is unfailingly witty and wise But beneath it all lie the indelible stains of a real life Greek trage.
I actually did something that I rarely do with books while I was waiting to get this book as an interlibrary loan I read the reviews and was fully prepared to freaking hate it The story of her grandmother Eleni was first introduced to me by my own mother and I remember it as being one of the first adult books I read recommended by my mother I also read Eleni s father s second book very recently and that led me to this one I did not hate this book I felt it was an honest account of a woman s xperience coming to terms with her family s tragic past and trying to change the memories of a place from bitterness to nostalgic I think she succeeded in bringing peace to her own life and to her father and his sisters I wanted to love this book I kind of think this goes without saying I rarely start a book thinking I hope I hate this book or I hope this book is merely adeuate But I really wanted this book to be a thing it turned out not to be I wanted that because of the book the author s father had written about his mother the titular character of Eleni In this book which I m currently reviewing Eleni s namesake and granddaughter returns to her family s village in Greece to rebuild the family home that is haunted by the war crimes committed there during the Greek Civil War The subject matter and her father s work suggest that this novel would have a weightiness that it never Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard even attempts Which is fine I could have adjusted myxpectations accordingly But the author s tone throughout the book is off putting And I know just how Ok Boomer that sounds Hear me out The author makes a lot of very personal remarks about The Matriarchs (The Family everyone she introduces into the book which is what an author should do naturally However the remarks focus on the characters appearances in particular what the author finds comical or unattractive about them with a greatmphasis on weight and hair color And the comments are absolutely brutal I don t know how some of these people didn t read it with very hurt feelings She made her parents sound like complete assholes She made Notes for the Everlost every person in the village seem like an unsophisticated moron who was nicenough but not you know cool or smart It was just a lot of unnecessary meanness that kept interrupting the otherwise serviceable narrative I wish she could get a do over on this book I really do It s a great story and deserved a better telling I have read the first 125 pages of this book and I am disappointed I will not read any of it It is not a patch on her father s When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) excellent book Eleni The author sets out for northern Greece near to the Albanian border to reconstruct her family s home that had been destroyed in the Greek Civil War Her account of this as far as I managed to read resembled a Greek version of A year in Provence by Peter Mayle only it was not nearly as well written I did not like Ms Gage s writing style which tried unsuccessfully in my opinion to combine jauntiness with watered down anthropological observations Enough said After reading Ms Gage s novel The Ladies of Managua I decided to read her memoir North of Ithaka Injoyed reading about Ms Gage s return to her ancestral homeland but I njoyed her fictional work that took place mostly in Nicaragua much North of Ithaka traces Eleni Gage s journey from New York City to the remote Greek village Lia While in Lia she rebuilds her grandmother s home that has been Eleni Gage a young journalist living in New York leaves her Manhattan flat to return to the remote but beautiful Greek village of Lia in northern Greece and rebuild her ruined ancestral home But this is not just another tale of uaint rustic DIY the house was the scene of imprisonment and torture and its ruins are stalked by the ghosts of the Greek Civil WarThe story is played out.
Eft abandoned since the Greek Civil War The time spent in Lia allows Eleni to learn about her grandmother s xecution by Communist guerillas who were occupying Lia In addition to following the ups and downs of home reconstruction Ms Gage s book Crush It! examines Greek culture and traditions In doing so her tale is both personal and informative I thought this was a well written humorous account of the author s return to her roots to rebuild her grandmother s house and reconnect with her Greek heritage A fascinating look at Greek Orthodox traditions and practices We discussed this book in my Daughters of Abraham interfaith book club and it added to the richness of the book to hear Muslim and Jewish friends perspectives on it This book is about the author returning to the small village in Greece where her grandmother had a home She decides to restore this home where her grandmother was imprisoned andxecuted I really tried to like this book but I found it tedious boring and meandering I did finish the book hoping that I would find an appreciation for this writer s voice but it just never happened I can t recommend this book This is the true story of Eleni Gage a young American woman who spends almost a year in the Greek village where her father was born overseeing the restoration of her ancestral home The home had been abandoned for decades after communists used it as a headuarters and a jail in the late 1940s during the Greek civil war Those same communists Attracting Birds to Your Backyard executed Gage s grandmother for helping her childrenscape the village and for allegedly hiding treasure Despite these unhappy circumstances Gage keeps this memoir fairly upbeat This book is not a downer It didn t make me cry It didn t make me sadI did get a little tired of Gage s self doubt There was waffling here than in an Eggo factory She wondered a lot if renovating the house was the right thing to do Members of her dad s family were upset by her decision to remodel the place of so much pain But what were the neighbors thinking Were they upset by her actions too Of course Gage never asked because she was afraid of the answer I m all for uestioning motives and actions but it just kept going on and on in Deep Listening every chapter Am I doing the right thing Am I upsetting people Should I just uit If Gage were truly concerned about the feelings of her fellow villagers perhaps she should have actually discussed those feelings with them andxplained her motivation Instead she did what she wanted to do without soliciting input but tried to look good in the Bird-by-Bird Gardening eyes of her readers by letting them know she really did constantly uestion whether or not she was doing the right thingI found two aspects of the book very strange 1 Gage got the idea to go to Greece and restore the ancestral home the weekend after Thanksgiving 2001 For those who may have forgotten that was less than three months after the September 11 attack on New York City At the time Gage was living in New York City yet there is not one single mention in thisntire book about the September 11th attack Gage does not mention how the attack influences her decision to leave the US She doesn t mention how the aftermath of the attack made getting her paperwork in order or her actual traveling difficult One could read this book and think the attack of NYC on September 11 2001 never happenedI lived in the Midwest at the time of the September 11t. In the stunning mountainous landscape of Epiros one of the least visited regions of Europe As Eleni becomes part of the village her neighbours and the house come vividly to life while her own disasters triumphs and self discoveries are alternately poignant and hilarious The cast of characters includes Eleni's formidable yet miniscule aunts the thitsas who fear that she will be at.
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Read kindle North of Ithaka A Granddaughter Returns to Greece and Discovers Her Roots author Eleni N. Gage – cafe1919.org
The daughter of a Greek father and a Minnesotan mother Eleni Gage grew up in Athens Greece and Worcester Massachusetts and has always been fascinated by cultural rituals traditions and syncretisms That interest led her to study Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University as an undergraduate and eventually to earn an eually practical master's degree an MFA in Creative Writing Fiction