War and its effects go on long after the last bullet has been fired. Its remembrance can carry through one’s lifetime and cause a great amount of sorrow and pain.
In Kate Hewitt’s book, Beyond The Olive Groove, we meet two main protagonists, one who lived through the war in Greece, while the other is a woman living presently. Both women have experienced intense pain, Sophia Paranoussis because of the ravages of war, and Ava because of the loss of her unborn child. The women are connected as Sophia is the grandmother to Ava. Always severe and never sharing her life in Greece, she leaves Ava her old home in Iousidous, a small village in Greece and because of the turmoil in Ava’s life, she decides to go and find the home along with the possibility of learning more of her grandmother.
Ava is separated from her husband, Simon, because he seems so cold and distant in their married life, plus with the loss of their daughter, his ability to grieve seems in question. It’s a dramatic choice to leave England and Simon, but one Ava feels is absolutely necessary. Once she arrives in the town, she is taken in by some of the villagers and befriends some with the hope that there still exists a person or persons who knew her grandmother and possibly the reason why she never spoke of the past.
The connection between 1942 and today was a good one and although there were instances of repetition, it still offered a valid story of how one can overcome peril and disaster, to learn not only how the past effects the future, but also that one is never alone when it comes to suffering and finally understanding.
I have so enjoyed Kate Hewitt’s former books. The ones that dwell on war have been most tender and sincere in their effort to makes us all better understand the nature of a war-torn environment. Troubles do not go away just because we cover them in many cloaks, but must be dealt with so that eventually we can move forward with life. It is with this hope possibly in mind that Ava can move forward and regain what she once had with Simon.
Thank you to Kate Hewitt, Bookouture, and NetGalley for a copy of this story due out August 13, 2021.