Good food, a magical place, and a sweet and enchanting romance

The Amulet - Mrs Effrosyni Moschoudi

I obtained a free ARC copy of the novel and I voluntarily decided to review it. I had read great reviews of Effrosyni Moschoudi’s novels but hadn’t read any yet and couldn’t resist when I had the chance to grab this novel, as I am interested in books featuring angels, and must confess that the cover caught my attention. This light romantic comedy introduces us not only to nice characters, like Katie, and all the staff and guests at Sifnos but also to quite a few supernatural beings and to Sifnos, a wonderful Greek island. Katie is a young woman who despite her studies and interest in tourism, ends up working at a pipes’ factory due to the economic crisis in Greece. She is kind and generous, but she is not happy due to her job situation. Her boss is a terrible woman (although Katie learns through the novel that we should not be too quick to judge others), and she ends up getting sacked. Her kindness is recompensed by Esmera, a gipsy woman who holds a few secrets and more than a bit of magic up her sleeve. She gives Katie an amulet, an angel pendant that changes her life. She gets a new job working in a small hotel at Sifnos, and her own personal angel, gorgeous Aggelos. This is a gentle comedy, where all the characters are memorable people we’d like to meet in real life, where there is some drama and minor crises, but never taken to extremes, and where the love story is gentle, fumbling, but never heats up to adult level. It is family-friendly, although it touches sad subjects too, but always in a sensitive way. Although readers might think they are on familiar ground (and in some ways, that is the case), there are surprises and a great twist at the end that makes the ending more joyful. The writing is fluid, easy to read, and although it shares the story from several points of view (always in the third person), it does not result confusing. The way the story is told might make us think we’re ahead of the main character, but it never reveals all its secrets and manages to make us keep reading. Without making use of heavy descriptions, the author manages to create an enchanting image of Sifnos, with its beautiful villages, beaches, tavernas and traditions. I must warn readers that it’s best not to indulge in this novel when they’re feeling hungry because the descriptions of Greek food might result in slobbering all over their Kindle. In sum, a thoroughly enjoyable light read, full of magic, that will make you want to travel to Greece and will leave you with a smile on your face, planning your next holidays (and setting off for the nearest Greek restaurant!).