Book Review: The Greek Holiday by Maeve Haran

Explore the idyllic Greek island of Kyri with all of its romance and mystery in this fantastic new summer read

I received a copy of The Greek Holiday for review purposes

With travel plans on the back burner for summer 2020, we’ll all be spending more time at home. But luckily there’s still plenty of opportunity to travel between the pages of a good book!

And this new novel from Maeve Haran will whisk you off to a sun-kissed Greek island, as you follow four friends trying to recreate the adventures of their youth.

Penny, Nell, Dora and Moira are four university friends who headed off several decades ago for a holiday on the fictional Greek Island of Zanthos. Now Penny is in a lonely and loveless marriage with a man who doesn’t appreciate her, and Nell is newly retired and unsure of what the future holds. Dora is the ‘scariest PR in London’ who has just been sacked by her major client, and university lecturer Moira is being pushed out by her employer.

Penny receives a small legacy from her father, and arranges for the foursome to meet up again, in an attempt to relive the excitement of their youth. But Zanthos has changed over the years, and isn’t the quiet, idyllic place that they remember.

And when an emergency occurs, the four women end up on the tiny island of Kyri. There they fall in love with the island, the community and yes, with some of the men.

The Greek Holiday is full of sunshine, good food and romance, but that’s not all. There’s also intrigue, drama and just a little bit of danger along the way. Not all of the island’s inhabitants are friendly and welcoming, and the four friends find themselves caught up in the murky world of international antique smuggling!

I really enjoyed reading The Greek Holiday, and flew through the pages on a chilly May weekend. Despite the grey weather outside, Maeve Haran’s vivid writing meant I could easily picture the perfect Greek island that the women find themselves on.

The island of Kyri may be fictitious, but reading this book left me longing for blue skies and even bluer doors, and craving the delicious Greek food that the women indulge in during their break. And I loved following the development of the four main characters, as they discover new strengths during their Greek holiday.

It’s the perfect distraction for a long summer at home!

The blurb:

Four old university friends, Dora, Penny, Nell and Moira, reunite to relive that first hippy-dippy trip together to a beautiful, unspoilt, romantic Greek island looking for sun, sand and sea.

But it’s not just about going back to when they were young. Maybe they do have dreams like Shirley Valentine, because, ultimately, they’re all looking for something to help them through some difficult times in their lives – whether it’s with their career, family or relationships.

What they discover in Kyri is an opportunity to reinvent, be themselves, contribute to a community who wants their help, at the same time as having fun, being happy and even finding love. But, crucially, they discover the most valuable lesson of all – understanding the true importance of female friendship.

A holiday romance with more twists and turns than your average rom-com – 8/10

The Greek Holiday is available in in Kindle and paperback formats, published by Pan MacMillan

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