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The Clover Houseby Henriette Lazaridis Power
Synopses & Reviews
Perfect for fans of Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key, this stunning debut novel brings to life World War II-era and modern-day Greece—and tells the story of a vibrant family and the tragic secret kept hidden for generations.
Boston, 2000: Calliope Notaris Brown receives a shocking phone call. Her beloved uncle Nestor has passed away, and now Callie must fly to Patras, Greece, to claim her inheritance. Callie’s mother, Clio—with whom Callie has always had a difficult relationship—tries to convince her not to make the trip. Unsettled by her mother’s strange behavior, and uneasy about her own recent engagement, Callie decides to escape Boston for the city of her childhood summers. After arriving at the heady peak of Carnival, Callie begins to piece together what her mother has been trying to hide. Among Nestor’s belongings, she uncovers clues to a long-kept secret that will alter everything she knows about her mother’s past and about her own future.
Greece, 1940: Growing up in Patras in a prosperous family, Clio Notaris and her siblings feel immune to the oncoming effects of World War II, yet the Italian occupation throws their privileged lives into turmoil. Summers in the country once spent idling in the clover fields are marked by air-raid drills; the celebration of Carnival, with its elaborate masquerade parties, is observed at home with costumes made from soldiers’ leftover silk parachutes. And as the war escalates, the events of one fateful evening will upend Clio’s future forever.
A moving novel of the search for identity, the challenges of love, and the shared history that defines a family, The Clover House is a powerful debut from a distinctive and talented new writer.
Praise for The Clover House
“The Clover House is a gripping, tender story that spans continents and generations as it delves into the secrets of a Greek American family altered by a long-ago tragedy in World War II. Told with quiet power and authenticity, it’s a reader’s treat.”—Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker
“[A] stunning debut novel.”—USA Today
“[An] insightful examination of memory and the stories that hold us together—or perhaps tear us apart.”—The Boston Globe
“A rare treat: an elegantly written debut about a family mystery set during wartime, the slipperiness of memory, and the challenges of forgiveness. Plus, we get to go to Greece! What more could you want from a novel? Read it, read it!”—Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
“A powerful story of family, betrayal, and forgiveness . . . In her first novel, Power melds the stories of mother and daughter into an absorbing tale that deserves to rank high on the list of women’s fiction.”—Booklist
“Layered and complex, The Clover House is a provocative examination of family secrets and the things we inherit, a powerful search for self that feels both unique and universal. Henriette Lazaridis Power immerses the reader in a world of tradition and resilience, creating characters who linger long beyond their final pages. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.”—Brunonia Barry, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places
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"First generation Greek-American Callie Notaris Brown has little connection to the homeland her mother fled. But an unexpected inheritance from her Uncle Nestor draws Callie back to Greece for the first time since childhood. Leaving her fiancÃ©e behind, she reconnects with relatives and searches for her once wealthy family's lost farm. Soon Callie is drawn into the local Carnival celebration and away from broiling family turmoil. Alongside revelers, Callie journeys into the countryside to find the family farm in spite of a local cousin who mocks her obsession with a past that cannot be traced. Prodded along by cassettes, videos, and pictures found in Uncle Nestor's house, Callie discovers not only the key to the family's wartime misfortunes, but also the source of her mother's complicated ties to Greece. Power does little to freshen this well-worn tale of an immigrant seeking closure in their ancestral homeland. While the family has a compelling legacy, Callie's present-day actions — an unconvincing will-she-or-won't she marriage plot — diminish that story's power. This slow-to-start, seemingly autobiographical novel never opens up enough to transcend the familiarity of its foundation. Agent: Kent D. Wolf, Global Literary Management. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Henriette Lazaridis Power is a first-generation Greek-American who has degrees in English literature from Middlebury College; Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and the University of Pennsylvania. She taught at Harvard for ten years, serving as an academic dean for four of those. She is the founding editor of The Drum, a literary magazine publishing exclusively in audio form. A competitive rower, Power trains regularly on the Charles River in Boston.
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