One of the most beautiful things about a new book is the anticipation of reading it.
Eating up words like a greedy child does candy, I want to race through the pages to discover a new heroine and story. My time is precious. I have four kids, I’m a full-time romance writer, and I’ve got that never ending pile of laundry calling my name, but every once and awhile, I’m treated to a book that not only makes me want to read each word, but linger in the rough edged pages.
Author Yvette Manessis Corporon’s When the Cypress Whispers happens to be one such book.
Page after page, she’s able to stir all five senses with her rich descriptions from everything from lemon trees to homemade bread to Saganaki (Corporon describes as Greek comfort food extraordinaire).
Daphne, the story’s heroine, balances between two worlds—the rich traditions of her Greek Immigrant parents and her want to be a modern woman. Widowed young, Daphne’s raising her daughter, Evie, and working towards becoming one of the most sought after chefs in New York City. Daphne wants it all and despite having so much, she can’t seem to decide exactly what “all” actually is.
During her climb to stardom, her Yia-Yia (Greek for grandmother), calls her home to Erikousa, the magical island off the coast of Greece. There, Daphne finds her footing once again and begins to wonder if what she wants and what she needs are one in the same.
Not only does her grandmother graciously help Daphne remember the old customs and childhood stories, Yia-Yia even offers an amazing cure for a hangover (“eating a chunk of peasant bread along with a handful of home-cured olives”**).
The book is rich with description, but not where the reader will feel bogged down with detail. Corporon does amazing job painting a literary picture where the sounds, sights, and smells of Greece are within inches. When the Cypress Whispers a sensory feast of words and passages that will have you smiling through tears of joy and wishing for those stories of your childhood that your grandmother used to tell.
Corporon has not only woven a beautiful story, but she's created something special here. The reminder that no matter where you are in life or what you think you need, if you have a family that loves you, no matter their idiosyncrasies or flaws, no matter what culture they are or what part of the world from which they originated, then you have damn good foundation.
When the Cypress Whispers is available in print as well as digital.
In addition to the book, the author’s website offers recipes from the book and photographs of the land that inspired her to write the book.
I truly enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading many more of Corporon’s creations.
** When the Cypress Whispers pg 159