Wednesday 24 November 2021

Book Review: A Good Year by Polis Loizou (Historical/Literary Fiction)

Title: A Good Year
Author: Polis Loizou
Publisher: Fairlight Books
Publication Date: 1 April 2022
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Historical/Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Rural Cyprus, 1925. Despo is recently married, heavily pregnant and deeply afraid. The twelve days of Christmas are beginning – the time when, according to local folklore, creatures known as kalikantzari come up from Hell to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, her husband Loukas has troubles of his own. Struggling with dreams and desires he doesn’t understand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to an Englishman, a newcomer to the island.

In a village wreathed in superstition, Despo and Loukas must protect themselves and their unborn child from ominous forces at play.


A Good Year was a quick but intense and interesting read that blended emotional drama with gothic folktale. It's one of those stories where it will be up to the individual reader to decide if the folklore aspects are 'real' or an elaborate metaphor. I personally viewed it as the latter, and interpreted the book as such. Essentially, this is a story of secrets threatening to bubble over in a small, rural community still steeped in the old ways as the modern world tries to seep in. Despite the short length of the piece, both Despo and Loukas came across as well-drawn characters with emotional depth, and the narration held my interest from start to finish. Well worth a read if you are looking for a darker drama with a folkloric twist that you can read in a single sitting.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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