By AURELIA, Illustrated by Bill Papas
REVIEWS FOR THE BOOK
The News Item
'A Lone Red Apple' is a clever, modern day romance…the main plot focuses on the lovers, Matthew and Elena, but subplots feature the threat of commercialization on the quaint island of Mykonos; Elena's rocky relationship with her family; Matthew's chance at a promotion at his university in England; and, of course, Sappho's poetry. Interwoven are influences and humor from the temperamental gods and goddesses. The theme emphasizes the two worlds that the lovers represent, London and Greece. Throughout the story Aurelia effortlessly combines snippets of Greek history, mythology, and poetry. Her writing appeals to all the senses through detailed descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of both Mykonos and Greenwich.
The Guide Magazine, Greenwich, England
A delightful tale of romance and mischief. Those with only half an interest in Greek mythology will find it intriguing. There are plenty of side plots to entertain. As to the significance of the title, 'A Lone Red Apple', and how a quiz night at the Plume of Feathers Pub in Greenwich fits into this tale, that is for the reader to discover."
Kathimerini, International Herald Tribune
Those who study classics sometimes dream of using their knowledge of literature, language, and mythology to write a work of fiction. One American philhellene, Aurelia Smeltz, decided to give it a try after she came to Mykonos four years ago for an extended stay at the home of Greek friends…she has turned her experiences living abroad in London and Greece into a delightful novel, entitled 'A Lone Red Apple'.
When Londoner Matthew Wyttman, a classics professor, and Elena Angelides, a Greek artist, arrive at Mykonos on the same ferry, they don't realize that their lives will soon change because of the actions of the ancient Greek gods and the lyric poetry of Sappho. Zeus, Aphrodite, and Eros, with the assistance of the Muses, Poseidon, and the Zephyrs, set the stage for the couple's love story. Their tale unravels amid the beauties of the sacred isle of Delos and windmill-sprinkled Mykonos, where the variety of Greek culture, including the distinctive family structure, food, poetry, dances, religious rituals, and battle between environmental concerns and the economic boom of tourism are amply portrayed.
The whimsy of the gods enables Matthew and Elena to review their priorities and is just the spur they need to make positive changes in their lives. Their separate awakenings occur in an instructive yet vivid backdrop of the Greek islands and are affected by a dialogue between the gods and the beauty of Sappho's poetry. Supported by the apt, accomplished, and humorous illustrations of Bill Papas, this promising author uses many techniques to develop the novel. The secondary characters could be more developed and the transitions smoother, but these are small quibbles in an enjoyable read.
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