- By Eleni N. Gage

North of Ithaka: A Granddaughter Returns to Greece and Discovers Her Roots

  • Title: North of Ithaka: A Granddaughter Returns to Greece and Discovers Her Roots
  • Author: Eleni N. Gage
  • ISBN: 9780312340292
  • Page: 343
  • Format: Paperback
  • North of Ithaka A Granddaughter Returns to Greece and Discovers Her Roots In North of Ithaka Eleni Gage returns to the remote Greek village of Lia where her father was born and her grandmother murdered to rebuild the ruins of her namesake s home and come to terms with he

    In North of Ithaka, Eleni Gage returns to the remote Greek village of Lia, where her father was born and her grandmother murdered, to rebuild the ruins of her namesake s home and come to terms with her family s tragic history In doing so, she leaves behind a sparkling social life and successful career to continue the tale of a family and a place which her father, NicholaIn North of Ithaka, Eleni Gage returns to the remote Greek village of Lia, where her father was born and her grandmother murdered, to rebuild the ruins of her namesake s home and come to terms with her family s tragic history In doing so, she leaves behind a sparkling social life and successful career to continue the tale of a family and a place which her father, Nicholas Gage, made famous over twenty years ago with his international bestseller, Eleni Along the way she survives humorous misadventures, absorbs fascinating folklore, and comes to understand that memories of the dead can bring new life to the present Part travel memoir and part family saga, North of Ithaka is, above all, a journey home.

    1 thought on “North of Ithaka: A Granddaughter Returns to Greece and Discovers Her Roots

    1. I have read the first 125 pages of this book and I am disappointed. I will not read any more of it. It is not a patch on her father's excellent book "Eleni". The author sets out for northern Greece, near to the Albanian border, to reconstruct her family's home that had been destroyed in the Greek Civil War. Her account of this, as far as I managed to read, resembled a Greek version of "A year in Provence" by Peter Mayle, only it was not nearly as well-written. I did not like Ms Gage's writing st [...]

    2. This book is about the author returning to the small village in Greece where her grandmother had a home. She decides to restore this home where her grandmother was imprisoned and executed. I really tried to like this book, but I found it tedious, boring and meandering. I did finish the book hoping that I would find an appreciation for this writer's voice, but it just never happened. I can't recommend this book.

    3. This is the true story of Eleni Gage, a young American woman who spends almost a year in the Greek village where her father was born, overseeing the restoration of her ancestral home. The home had been abandoned for decades after communists used it as a headquarters and a jail in the late 1940s during the Greek civil war. Those same communists executed Gage's grandmother for helping her children escape the village and for (allegedly) hiding treasure. Despite these unhappy circumstances, Gage kee [...]

    4. I didn't actually finish this. I found it getting too self-conscious, and including pretty boring dialogue, ordinary conversation between family members. But I did think it an interesting look at a Greek-American going back to the village of her family, where her grandmother was murdered and trying to find her roots and establish herself in a village where single women were not supposed to be so autonomous.

    5. After reading Ms. Gage's novel, The Ladies of Managua, I decided to read her memoir North of Ithaka. I enjoyed reading about Ms. Gage's return to her ancestral homeland, but I enjoyed her fictional work that took place mostly in Nicaragua much more. North of Ithaka traces Eleni Gage's journey from New York City to the remote Greek village Lia. While in Lia, she rebuilds her grandmother's home that has been left abandoned since the Greek Civil War. The time spent in Lia allows Eleni to learn more [...]

    6. I actually did something that I rarely do with books while I was waiting to get this book as an interlibrary loan I read the reviews and was fully prepared to freaking hate it. The story of her grandmother Eleni was first introduced to me by my own mother and I remember it as being one of the first adult books I read recommended by my mother. I also read Eleni's father's second book very recently and that led me to this one. I did not hate this book, I felt it was an honest account of a woman's [...]

    7. Eleni Gage is the daughter of writer Nicholas Gage. His most famous book; Eleni is the story of his mother who was murdered during the Greek Civil War. Eleni was adapted for film in 1985 - John Malkovitch played the role of Nick GageEleni Gage returned to the small village of Lia in Northern Greece with the intention of rebuilding her murdered Grandmother's house. This is the house in which she was keep prisoner and the house from which she made her final journey. Eleni's father and his sisters [...]

    8. I got this book from a recommendation from the Folklore Society, based on the fact that the author has a degree in Folklore and went back to Greece to finish a family saga, and it's a secondary book to her father's book "Eleni". Unfortunately, this is probably her first book. It's very self conscious and the dialogue is very mundane. I was hoping for a lot more folklore, but I think that the author was trying more for 'atmosphere'. I think that the book has potential, but as is, it's very boring [...]

    9. I really enjoyed this memoir/travelogue. I had read Nicholas Gage's "Eleni" so I knew the history of this family going in to the book. I think it's great that Eleni's granddaughter - also named Eleni - decided to rebuild the family home and with that, hopefully restore a place for herself in her ancestral village. This book follows the reconstruction of that house, and shares a lot of specific cultural moments in the village - saints days, Easter, festivals - as well as more mundane day-to-day l [...]

    10. “North of Ithaka” is Eleni Gage’s charming travel/memoir of the time she spent in a small village in northern Greece, restoring from absolute ruin the house of her paternal grandparents.During the Greek Civil War it had been taken over by Communist troops and its basement used as a prison. Eleni’s own grandmother had been one of the locals imprisoned there – until she had been taken out and executed.Many in the village of Lia have bad memories of the house that once stood half way up t [...]

    11. "A place that pains you, in Greek vernacular, is somewhere you love. To love a place is to feel for it, to let it wound you so it leaves a scar, a permanent keepsake that helps you identify yourself."A well-written book that I was easily able to relate to as a child of Greek immigrant parents myself. Eleni's apprehension to resurrect a tragic past is trumped by her desire to breathe new life into the Gatzoyannis family home. In completing this project, she has erected a monument to all those who [...]

    12. Great memoir of a granddaughter's journey back to her family's Greek village to re-build the house and the past of her grandmother, Eleni Gage. The story is a modern-day woman's connection with her family's rich and dark past dating back to WW2 Greek village devastated by war and murder. The book is written from a modern perspective on the history of our roots and how they make up who we are today as Greek American women living in America. Great read with a universal theme for all women who have [...]

    13. A fun read about reclaiming your family history. A young woman from the states goes back to the family home in Greece to rebuild her grandmothers house Love the ties she builds to the region and would personally love to have that kind of connection and opportunity (daddy bankrolling the adventure I guess would help) her grandmother was the Eleni the movie was based on Now to go back and rewatch it

    14. Good read. I liked how well she describes the feeling of the small greek village and it's people. I felt like I really got to know them. I didn't read Eleni first, I guess you should to know the full story, but it's not necessary. The descriptions of the rituals and holidays were a bit too much for me sometimes, but overall it was a fast read.

    15. This would never have been published; but for her father being a writer. The energy level is low and the interest engagement also challenging. I have given it a 'shot' however, will have to pick up something else. The font & cover are well-put together. Otherwise, read it in a waiting room or but not even a good beach book.I picked it up for a dollar at a library sale; & will give it back to library with a few others. Actually I have the hardcover edition.

    16. A really engaging account of Elena's return to Lia to rebuild her grandmother's house. The story interweaves the atrocities of the second world war with Elena's attempts to fit in to modern day village life. What I found interesting was the dichotomy of those with two cultures - do you manage to fit into both or neither?

    17. Tee hee - I've joined a book club! And this is my first book!-------------Someone else at the book club rated this an 8/10ybe I'm in the wrong book club. I found the book unorganized and trite, and not really that interesting. I wouldn't have finished it if it hadn't been for a discussion group.

    18. this starts out with the girl rebuilding the family home in greece. she quit her job in ny and moved there to see to the construction. the rest of the family, her aunts, didnt want her to as that is where the bad things happened during the war. the enemy took over her grandmas house. her grandma was killed there as well as many other people of the village.

    19. Eleni Gage was doing a book signing at an event in the Detroit area that my son happened to be working at. He was impressed, thought it sounded like a book his mother would like to read and bought it for me. I am finally getting to read it and am enjoying the story. What a wonderful adventure! I'll rate it after I finish it.

    20. Full disclosure: I know, and adore, the author personally, but this is truly one of the loveliest memoirs I've read. This exploration of cultural identity is poignant and funny, clever and warm, and makes you immediately want to book a ticket to Greece. Highly recommended.

    21. 2008- A story of a woman's quest to spend a year rebuilding her grandmother's home high in the mountaintops of Greece, while also discovering her history. Made me want to read the book about her grandmother.

    22. So goodSo goodI am not Greek but it does not matter. To go back to your grandparents homeland and rediscover their lives and swim in the memories of family and friends. This was a book of love and you will love it.

    23. I was hoping to get a lot from this book, but it failed to maintain my interests. The only redeeming thing about the book was looking at the old pictures featured. Her father's work captures so much raw emotion and North of Ithaka seems flat in comparison. I really wanted to like this book.

    24. Nice book, but a little too cliché if you really know Greece. But I suppose Greeks who emigrated in Europe and those who emigrated elsewhere in the world see Greece differently. Overall, it's a nice book, though not as well written as her father's (can't help the comparision, sorry).

    25. An interesting book about the author's return to her ancestral village in Greece, indeed her ancestral home. Interesting, but not terribly profound. There are recipes in the back, if one is into Greek cuisine (which I'm generally not, despite my general Hellenophile nature).

    26. Great sequel to Eleni.what a wonderful experience to go back and rebuild a memorial to someone you have never meet but are so connected with. Learned a lot about Greek culture and found it all to be so interesting.

    27. Read this after the island and was a little disappointed . But to be fair its only becase i fell in love with the island So do read and dont take my review too seriously

    28. Nicholas Gage's daughter's story about rebuilding her grandmother Eleni's house in Lia. Oct 2008. OK. -- OK

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