The Island (Hislop novel)

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The Island
The Island (V Hislop novel) cover.jpg
Bookjacket for The Island
AuthorVictoria Hislop
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherHeadline Review
Publication date
6 June 2005
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages473 pp

The Island is a historical novel written by Victoria Hislop. It has won several awards including Newcomer of the Year at the 2007 British Book Awards.[1] The book was also nominated for the Book of the Year award at the same event.[2]

Set on the island of Spinalonga, off the coast of Crete, and on the village of Plaka which lies within swimming distance across the bay from it, The Island tells the story of Alexis Fielding, a 25-year-old on the cusp of a life-changing decision. Alexis knows little or nothing about her family's past and has always resented her mother for refusing to discuss it. She knows only that her mother, Sofia, grew up in Plaka, a small Cretan village, before moving to London. Making her first visit to Crete to see the village where her mother was born, Alexis discovers that the village of Plaka faces the small, now deserted island of Spinalonga, which, she is shocked and surprised to learn was Greece's leper colony for much of the 20th century. It is here that Alexis meets an old friend of her mother's, Fotini, who is prepared to tell her for the first time the whole tragic story of her family. What Fotini tells her is shocking and tragic, it is the story which Sofia has spent her life concealing: the story of Eleni, her grandmother, and of a family torn apart by tragedy, war and passion. Eleni has two children, called Maria and Anna with her husband Georgio. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island and with the horror and pity of the leper colony which was once there, and learns too that the secrets of the past have the power to change the future.

TV adaptation[edit]

Mega Channel Greece produced a 26-episode television series called "To Nisi" (The Island), based on the book; the series premiered on 11 October 2010.[3] With a 4 million euro budget, the series is the most expensive in Greek television history.[4] During a pre-premiere press screening, the show has received positive critical reception and is reportedly being eyed by foreign networks.[4] Initial thoughts by Mega Channel were to make a film out of the novel, but they finally decided upon a 26 episode television series instead.[3] Mirella Papaeconomou primarily took on the script’s adaptation, and with Hislop’s permission added stories and characters that do not exist in the novel, mostly to fill in the time of an entire TV season as well as enrich the book.[3] Hislop has actively participated in the entire process with ideas, suggestions and observations.[3] Shooting began in December 2009 on location on the island of Crete.[3]


  1. ^ "British Book Awards 2007". Publishing News. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  2. ^ Kelbie, Paul (8 March 2007). "Kay and Gervais in running for book award". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rigopoulos, Dimitris (January 27, 2010). "Mega takes on 'The Island'". Kathimerini. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Staff (October 8, 2010). Διεθνείς διαστάσεις παίρνει "Το Νησί" (in Greek). Star Channel. Retrieved October 8, 2010.