Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Clover House by Henriette Lazaridis Power + A Giveaway

Morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Henriette Lazaridis Powers's The Clover House. My post is a bit short today, I've got family in visiting and we're running the roads having a fabulous time!

While Callie (nee Calliope Notaris Brown) was always fascinated by her mother's stories of growing up in Greece, their relationship has never been easy. Her mother returned to Greece shortly after Callie's father died and their marriage has left Callie worried about the prospects of her own relationship. When Callie learns that her uncle has passed away and left her the contents of his home, she reluctantly books a trip to Patras even though her last trip ended dreadfully. She immediately starts on rocky ground with her mother, who for reasons Callie can't understand would prefer that Callie had left her uncle's things in her hands. Callie's uncle collected and kept everything he could get his hands on: photos, radio recordings, even fruit pits from the families farm. But as Callie digs into the years worth of items it becomes clear just how little she really knows about her mother's past. 

Henriette Lazaridis Powers's debut is the kind of book you can literally lose yourself in. Much of story itself is based on her own family history and her experiences as a first generation American. Patras is where her family lived and the stories her mother shared with her were as entrancing to her growing up as Callie's mother's stories are in the book. I think it's this strong connection to her subject that's helped in making The Clover House such a wonderful book.

I did find Callie to be a bit off putting at times. Her personality is a result of her experiences and the author does a great job of explaining that throughout the book, but it's one of those stories that develops more the further you go. It's unclear at the start just why Callie and her mother have so much friction between them and how this affects her relationship with Jonah and with the rest of her family.

Clio's chapters were my favorite. The glimpses of her life and the pieces we learn about Greek history are fascinating.

Throughout the book, however, the author's descriptions of Greece and Patras make The Clover House a real stand out. She's able to bring the setting to life in such a wonderful way!

The Clover House brought to mind one of my absolute favorites books of all time Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. Harris always creates an intriguing story and a lush setting. In this case it's France during WWII occupation, which could be why I was reminded of it so much.

Rating: 4/5

To see what everyone else on the tour thought, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on the author and The Clover House (including an excerpt) visit her official website. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

As a little bonus, I have one copy up for grabs. If you're interested, leave me a comment here (with a way to contact you in case you're the winner) before midnight Sunday, April 14 (US only please). 


traveler said...

I am interested in this captivating novel and your great review appealed to me greatly. Thanks for this chance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

This book sounds wonderful, enthralling and the type I could get lost within the pages. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cheryl said...

Sounds like an good book. Would like to check it out.

clbstitch at yahoo dot com

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This one sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it myself.

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.