Book Review: Return to the Aegean

return to aegeanThank you to E.J. Russell for sending Return to the Aegean to us in exchange for a review. I quite enjoyed reading it and it was a story that had my attention from the very beginning. Here was a fine story of a twin sister returning to her homeland to uncover the truth behind the death of her beloved brother. Return to the Aegean tells of a wonderful story of a sister’s pain and heartbreak and quest for true understanding of a traumatic event that occurred in her family 13 years prior.

Return to the Aegean is the story of Thalia, the child of Russian emigres to Greece, and of her return to the Greek island of her childhood to uncover the mystery surrounding her brother’s and mother’s deaths. Following these traumatic events she fled the island in an attempt to forget about it while pursuing a career as a marine archaeologist.  However, Thalia increasingly finds herself unable to put the past behind her and feels unsettled that something is amiss about that night they found her brother.

That wound healed long ago, but my brother’s absence never did. This love is scarred and flawed, it ripples around me, echoing the ebb and flow of my consciousness. I can’t abandon my brother’s memory to half remembered fictions any more. I need the truth.

Although it causes much pain and discomfort for Thalia and those that have remained on the island, Thalia is determined to piece together the events that led up to and included that terrible night when her brother was found dead and her mother missing. Not everyone is pleased to see Thalia’s return however and once she discovers it was murder that took her beloved brother from her, she becomes all that more determined to uncover the truth. The truth however, may not be what Thalia truly wants to discover. In the end, she is boldly able to confront those that victimized her family and covered up the truth of what happened to her mother and brother that one fateful night. In doing so, Thalia realizes the island is her true home, and putting aside those inner demons she once again fully embraces her life as it is meant to be lived, on that little island in Greece.

“Lambi had been my twin, my best friend, my protector, my inspiration to be better. Without him on the island, I foolishly believed there was no reason to stay. “

Russell adeptly draws you immediately in to the story and I found I was intrigued to continue from the very first pages. She wonderfully conveys the love, importance of family and community in the Greek culture along with the beauty of the Greek islands, and superbly describes each of her characters involved.

If you are looking for a solid story with hints of mystery, I do recommend Return to the Aegean. While there are parts containing some erotic writing, they do not overpower the story and can easily be skimmed over if they are not your taste, as I did. :-) Thank you again Ms. Russell, it was indeed a pleasure to read!