Secrets of Santorini by Patricia Wilson: Packed with intrigue, danger and romance, Wilson’s passion for the classics and an endless fascination with foraging into the vibrant corners of history - book review -

Set against the lush backdrop of stunning Santorini, a paradise island that glitters in the Aegean Sea and is noted for its colourful lava pebble beaches and steep white clifftop, Wilson’s tantalising tale of mystery, history, romance, and digging up the past is the perfect holiday escape.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 4:02 pm
Secrets of Santorini

Take a trip to Greece – both ancient and modern – in a sparkling summer read from a writer who was inspired by a piece of broken pottery dug up in her garden on Crete thirty years ago.

Patricia Wilson, who now lives on the Greek island of Rhodes and is the author of sun-drenched novels Islands of Secrets and Villa of Secrets, reveals that the discovery of that shard of terracotta, with a circle of strange hieroglyphics around the base, led to some fascinating research and this new story based on Santorini, Crete, and Plato’s fictional island of Atlantis.

Set against the lush backdrop of stunning Santorini, a paradise island that glitters in the Aegean Sea and is noted for its colourful lava pebble beaches and steep white clifftop, Wilson’s tantalising tale of mystery, history, romance, and digging up the past is the perfect holiday escape.

Sent away to a convent school in Dublin at the age of five, 31-year-old Irini McGuire has always had a strained and distant relationship with her mother, Bridget, a celebrated archaeologist who lives on the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini.

Her father Tommy, now ill and ageing, lives in a Dublin care home and teacher Irini has just broken up with her fiancé and is desperate for ‘a greater challenge in life.’ So, when Irini receives news that 60-year-old Bridget has been injured at a dig and is in a coma, she knows it is finally time to return to the island of her birth.

There, she learns that her mother’s life is hanging by a thread and when she reads through Bridget’s notes at her bedside, Irini starts to realise how little she knows about the woman she had always believed hadn’t ‘a maternal bone in her body.’

Driven on by rumours that her mother’s injury at the archaeological site was no accident, Irini must uncover the dark secrets behind her family’s separation but will she discover the truth about her parents and her past before it is too late?

Wilson’s love of Greece – its food, its people, its dusty, alluring landscape and its incredible mythology – shines through in a story that weaves between the present and the not-too-distant past, and introduces readers to the heroes of Ancient Greece.

Fiction, fact and legend blend seamlessly as Irini unearths some of the buried secrets of her archaeologist mother and father, and discovers that love can be found in the most unexpected of places in the sunshine of Santorini.

Packed with intrigue, danger and romance, Wilson’s passion for the classics and an endless fascination with foraging into the vibrant corners of history, this is a poignant and beautifully written story best read on a sun lounger with a glass of chilled ouzo!

(Zaffre, paperback, £7.99)