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Victoria Hislop

  • Original Title: THE ISLAND
  • Publication date: June 2005
  • Publisher: HEADLINE REVIEW
  • Country: GB
  • 384 print pages
  • Drama


  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Location setting: Greece
  • Themes: FAMILY, Intergenerational, Maternity, Family secrets, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Search for origins, Disease, Death, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, War and other conflicts, LOVE / HATE, Passion, Exclusion


"This was not the start of a short trip to deliver supplies. It was the beginning of a one-way journey to start a new life. Life on a leper colony. Life on Spinalonga." 50 years later, making a life-changing journey of her own, Alexis feels the pull of the abandoned island, off the coast of Crete.


The sequel, ONE AUGUST NIGHT, is to be published in October 2020 by Headline
Translation rights optioned (for Book #2) in China, Finland; France; Greece; Israel; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Spain

Book 1 was filmed as a TV series by the Greek TV channel MEGA.

The book has sold 5 million copies, including 1.23 million in the UK.

Winner of the British Book Awards, Newcomer of the Year, 2007.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Book of the Year, 2007.
A Richard and Judy Summer Read selection.

Victoria Hislop is a bestselling British writer. Her novel THE RETURN was a Sunday Times number one bestseller, and her books have been translated into more than 30 languages. In total she has sold 3.016 million books in the UK for £18.8m.



On the brink of her own life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.

Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip...


25th August 1957 is the night of a great celebration held in Plaka to mark the closure of the leper colony which sits across the bay: Spinalonga. A cure has been found, and the residents of the island are finally free to return to their families and lives. But a tragic and violent event turns the night upside down.

Report on Book #2, ONE AUGUST NIGHT

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  • Author’s biography

    Victoria Hislop (born 1959) is an English author. Her first novel, THE ISLAND, held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. She was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and won the Richard & Judy Summer Read competition. She acted as script consultant on the 26-part adaptation of THE ISLAND in Greece, which achieved record ratings for Greek television. Her second novel, THE RETURN, was also a Sunday Times number one bestseller, and her books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Her books also include THE THREAD, THE SUNRISE, THE LAST DANSE collection, THE KAFENION, and CARTES POSTALES FROM GREECE. In total she has sold 3.016 million books in the UK for £18.8m.