Opa!

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

A fun and enjoyable read. My father immigrated as a young boy, being Greek is so thoroughly a part of my self and mind
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I'm a little on the fence about this book. There are interesting parts and I learned a bit more about Greek culture and history, but the wiring felt a little clunky. 

Thank you to Greenleaf Book Group/River Grove Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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While I certainly respect Dr. Cosmas' desire to record a community & way of like that has mostly disappeared, I'm afraid the book is not well-written enough to be very interesting.

It would be nice if the book wasn't so disjointed, but even single chapters seem to be batches of short essays on vaguely similar topics.

It also would be nice if the author was a better storyteller. The thing that makes memoirs often delightful is that the stories are full of affectionate humor that makes you like and even love both the characters and the storyteller. It's what made My Big Fat Greek Weeding so beloved. But that's missing here. While I have no doubt Cosmas loves his family, it doesn't come out in his writing.

Another thing often missing in the memoirs parts of the book is endings to the stories. All too often they just stop, the reader never being told what happened . As a result stories that do end instead of stop are a refreshing change. To show the point take the stories of Arthur and his friends building a shower in his parents home and the story of his uncle who moved to California. Did the boys build the shower? Did it work? Did they get in trouble? We don't know. We do know that when the author and his uncle met again in California, they reaffirmed their love for each other by playing catch, as they used to in New England.

My final problem is that I feel as if this book didn't reflect very well the Greeks that I know. I'm sure he portrayed his family and community accurately, but, having a close Greek friend, I didn't see her or her family or the many other Greeks I knew growing up in this book.

I wish it had been better.
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