Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Appointment With Yesterday by Christopher Stratakis + Giveaway

Appointment with Yesterday: A Novel in Four Parts with a Prologue and an Epilogue by Christopher Stratakis
Category: Adult Fiction, 334 pages
Genre: coming-of-age / WWII / immigrant experience
Publisher: IndieReader
Release date: January 2017

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Looking Out To Sea

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from /
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Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Description:

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a cheeky and delightful Greek boy growing up in a small town on an island in the eastern Aegean.

Left in the care of his loving grandparents, Yanni endures the deprivation and terror of the German occupation during World War II and finally leaves his beloved homeland and family to rejoin the parents who had left him behind to make a better life for themselves in America.

Filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of love, devotion, disenchantment, and dashed dreams, Appointment with Yesterday is, ultimately, the story of hardships overcome and a determined boy’s journey toward finding his destiny.

Appointment With Yesterday was written by Greek-born lawyer and author Christopher Stratakis who himself emigrated to America and this novel draws heavily on the author's own life for its essential narrative. I found this realism to be a double-edged sword - good in that the events depicted have a strong sense of authenticity about them, but I was disappointed by the book's structure which sees too many happenings crammed in one after another so, for me, the American chapters especially felt more like diary notes than a fully realised novel.

I did enjoy reading about Yanni's childhood in Greece. Island life is nicely evoked in its frugal simplicity and I thought Stratakis captured the characters of Yanni and his grandmother well. The horrors of the wartime years were difficult to read about and obviously harrowing to the villagers and islanders themselves. I hadn't previously known much about Greece during World War Two so was interested to learn.

Overall though I struggled to empathise with Yanni and, once in America, with his mother's actions because I didn't feel I had enough to go on in order to understand why they behaved as they did. As an autobiographical piece, Appointment With Yesterday is interesting, but I think it needs to more deeply explore its themes of immigration and personal isolation to be satisfying as historical fiction.

To read more reviews, please visit Christopher Stratakis' page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author:

Christopher Stratakis was born and raised in Greece. After moving to America, he graduated from Drexel University in 1951 and New York University School of Law in 1955. Shortly after joining the law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides in 1960, he became a partner, specializing in admiralty and corporate law.

He has written and published several articles, lectured on professional and historical subjects, served as Legal Advisor to several non-profits (pro bono), and was an arbitrator in maritime disputes. He is the author of Mnimes “Memories” (2010), a book of essays, short stories, and poems that he wrote as a teenager. In 2015, he co-edited Chains on Parallel Roads, a book published by Panchiaki “Korais” Society of New York. In recognition of his extensive community involvement, he has been the recipient of several awards from religious, governmental, and educational institutions.

Mr. Stratakis lives with his wife in New York City. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of three. This is his first novel.

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Books by Christopher Stratakis / Coming of age stories / Books from Greece

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