As a special thank you to BCG readers, I'd like to offer free copies of a book that I am really excited about. The Island, by Victoria Hislop, was a mega bestseller in the UK -- it was a Richard & Judy pick there, their equivalent of Oprah. In The Island, Hislop tells the story of the Petrakis family, who live in the seaside village of Plaka in Crete, directly opposite the island of Spinalonga, the home of a leper colony. When the Petrakis mother is diagnosed with leprosy and sent to Spinalonga (along with the young boy who infected her and to whom she must become a surrogate mother), the lives of this family are irrevocably changed and the communities of Spinalonga and Plaka become forever intertwined. The daughters who are left behind couldn't be more different and grow up to be opposed in nearly every way and their father, who is essentially widowed when his wife is banished, finds that grief is his most constant companion.
This is an epic and unforgettable story of family, community, illness and prejudice. Reading it reminded me of Year of Wonders, and how the Plague effected the people in England at that time and what a great discussion that engendered when my book group read it.
The first 25 people to email me at bookclubgirl AT gmail DOT com, and include their snail mail address, will receive a free copy of The Island, which is on sale everywhere today.