A captivating and mystical story of life and love during the wartime Italian occupation of the isolated Greek island of Cephallonia. Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, this rich and lyrical, heartbreaking and hilarious novel has been widely hailed as a classic. Set on the peaceful island of Cephallonia, just as the horrors of World War II reach its remote shores, Corelli's Mandolin is "an exuberant mixture of history and romance, written with a wit that is incandescent" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army. Caught in the midst of the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love and affection: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless, murderous guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Corelli's Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.
This is an amazing novel set on the island of Cephalonia, Greece, beginning in World War II. Cephalonia was occupied during WWII by Italian soldiers. This is a love story between one of the soldiers (Capt. Corelli) and Pelagia, one of the Greek women in the town. Louis de Bernieres creates a detailed, beautiful, rich story. In addition to the charming and interesting Pelagia and Corelli, the community of Cephalonia is filled with odd and quirky characters. … more
This novel has it all - great characters, the folly of war, humour, sadness and a pine marten! It is also about a very sad time that I (a fanatic history buff) knew so little about - the Italian occupation of the Greek Islands in World War Two. Take some time to lock yourself away for an all in one read - it is well worth the effort.