When I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Victoria Hislop’s latest novel ‘The Sunrise’, I knew it was going to be good. I’ve loved all of her three previous novels, and this was no exception.
‘The Sunrise’ is set in Cyprus, and more specifically in the ill-fated coastal resort of Famagusta, on the eve of civil war between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. To give the novel some context, the year of 1974 saw Famagusta transform from a thriving tourist destination to a ghost town, as some 40,000 people abandoned their homes and fled in the wake of an advancing Turkish army. An area of the city, known as Varosha, remains barricaded off to this day. The war created hundreds of thousands of refugees – many of whom were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
In Hislop’s novel, Savvas Papacosta and his wife Aphroditi have built the Sunrise hotel to be bigger and better than any other hotel in Famagusta. The epitome of luxury, no expense has been spared to create the ultimate holiday destination. Despite growing tensions outside of the tourist resort, Savvas is determined to continue expanding and harbours ambitions of building a grand hotel empire along the beach. Continue reading