Under a Croatian Sun

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Having been living in mainland Croatia I have to say this is so true.
The people are slow to warm to you but once they except you, you have friends for life.
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Having spent my summer holiday in Croatia I was eager to read this.

Anthony Stancomb and his wife. decided to retire to a quiet Croatian island of Vis, This is their tale of living and mixing with the natives and is a sometimes funny and highly interesting story.

The culture, the food and barriers are all well documented and makes a beautiful story that simply needs to be read.

I loved Ivana and this book reminds me of everything I loved about my holiday. I just want to re-visit and take this read charming and delightful book with me .
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I  love these expat books about moving abroad and living in a foreign country! Under the Tuscan Sun comes to mind, but I have read several on moving to Italy, France, Spain and Portugal over the past few years! I can't imagine how daunting it would be to actually do it, so I read these accounts bot to cringe and laugh along with the authors! For anyone who has ever contemplated moving abroad- good luck and have fun! For the rest of us armchair readers- enjoy and maybe some of us will someday join the adventurers!
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Nice read. Not overly exciting but good all the same. Enjoyed reading about the couples travels and its one of those books that draws you in and you wish you were there
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Under a Croatian Sun is a lovely memoir about the author's experience moving with his wife to the Croatian island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea.  Similar in feel to A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun.  Stancomb's story is full of love for the island and saturated with lots of humor and good natured tales of culture clash.
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From the hustle and bustle of London, to the Island of Vis in Croatia, is quite a dramatic move for the author and his wife, who are looking forward to a slower paced life. Anthony and Ivana, start their journey when their children have moved out on their own and the two of them feel that they need to get away from their hectic lives in the UK. This book is very well written and a lot of fun to read. We follow them as they try and find their place among the locals and to receive their acceptance of them. This book is very humorous at times as they try not to be considered “the outsiders”, bending over backwards to make themselves useful and helpful in the community. Ivana is Croatian by birth but even she has a hard time being accepted as she is not from the Island, and they are very leery of foreigners, even from their own country. Anthony has many ideas as to how to win people over from, starting a vineyard to a sailing school, restaurant or a cricket team and on and on. You will have to read this book to see what happens to the two of them as they follow their quest to acceptance.
This book has a wonderful group of characters, each so different yet same in some ways, and I loved them all.
Thank you NetGalley and Thistle Publishing
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Under a Croatian Sun is a wonderful memoir of a British man who, along with his Croatian wife, give up the rat race in England and relocate/retire to Croatia.  The author has an excellent ability to describe the numerous characters he meets in his new home, many times causing me to snort out loud in laughter. He also has the ability to poke fun at himself. Especially in his descriptions of trying to fit in and be accepted by the locals. 
And, without even realizing it, the  reader comes away with a bit of understanding about the troubles the area experienced in the war. 
All in all, having read many ex-pat memoirs, I find this one to be of a higher standard.  Funny, witty, engaging, and even educational. A sure win!
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Anthony Stancomb writes in the vein of "A Year in Provence," but his "Under a Croatian Sun" is funnier, more diverse, and more insightful. It chronicles the story of the author and his wife departing England and moving to the island of Vis, Croatia, determined to assimilate into the culture..  Stancomb's ability to delineate the Vis community and its characters is exceptional. The islanders are a unique and memorable lot!. His chronicles diverse facets of community life through short vignettes.  While the book is light reading, it's also engaging. It gives unusually vivid insight into a people deeply affected by long Communist control and the Balkan war, but who stamp their own brand of "crazy" on their circumstances. .Numerous parts are so laugh-out-loud funny that one wonders if Stancomb takes dramatic license,  "Under a Croatian Sun" has such winsome appeal that I immediately searched for a sequel and found Stancomb's "Notes from a Small Island."  Can't wit to read it too!
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Ah....retirement. The proverbial golden pot at the end of the long, decidedly none rainbow like thing that's work. Some take a more creative approach to retirement than others. Meet Anthony Stancomb and his wife. who decided to quit busy England and retire to a quiet Croatian island of Vis, a place abundant with naturally beauty, historically significant past and...not much otherwise. Small minded, rigid in traditions and quite backward, like so many geographically isolated locations around the world, Vis' siren song nevertheless proved irresistible to the author and this is a (for some reason derivatively titled) chronicle of him and his wife trying to fit in, mingle, be productive, enterprising and contributing members of the tiny society. Stancomb's very British jocularity comes in handy and makes for a very amusing read as he describes the numerous culture clashes, climbs the language barrier and fights the windmills of local bureaucracy. Seems like a terribly frustrating experience and yet...every so often he'll talk about Vis' beauty, the beguiling Adriatic outside his windows, a certain sunset or sunrise and you can really see the appeal. After all, everyone is looking for that one place where, to modernize the old adage, they can rest their weary iPhone thumbs, that one place that makes them happy and it's nice to read about someone who found theirs, however untraditional. While I adore all things British, the author's expansive variety of very English references (particularly famous persons) was somewhat distracting, but I'm sure a Brit would get all those. Charming and considerably cheaper than actually visiting Croatia in general or Vis in particular. Thanks Netgalley.
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There have been plenty of books written by middle-aged folks pulling up roots and moving to places off the beaten path, but few are as delightful as Stancomb's book. He and his wife change their London=based lives for the life in a small village on Vis, an island off the coast of Croatia.

That in itself is a big enough change. When you combine it with a very old, antiquated house, villagers suspicious of outsiders, and the residue of Communism and the recent wars, you get quite a challenge to overcome, no matter how delightful the setting.

Stancomb and his wife are up to it all in this often funny and often lyrical account of their first year on Vis. It made me ready to move there!
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Haven’t you ever wanted to sell your place, quit your job, and move to your paradise?  Be honest now! Wasn’t it Monday morning? Or was it Sunday night thinking of…Monday morning?

Sometimes you find someone who does just that. Take Tony Stanhope and his wife, Ivana. They fell in love with the tiny island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea between Croatia and northern Italy, and decided to sell their London place, sell their business and leave the city for this small island, their heaven.

What follows are often hilarious attempts after attempts to fit into a daily society of those who are wary of strangers, had lived under Communist bureaucracies and restrictions for years, but curious about this new couple.

Tony tries different schemes – helping neighbors, visiting bars, trying to plan a restaurant serving ‘English food, starting a Cricket team, and starting a vineyard, to be accepted while his wife, Croatian by birth, is savvy to their town’s inner spirit.

Want to escape your daily grind? Need some good laughs? The join Tony and Ivana as they try to settle in their island paradise among a town that may – or may not – accept these outsiders as fellow islanders. You won’t regret it!
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