Monday, January 1, 2018

Seraphina's Song by Kathryn Gauci

Seraphina’s Song. Kathryn Gauci. Ebony Publishing. December 2017. 172 pp.  ISBN#: 9780648123521.

Dionysos Mavroulis is a man hitting rock bottom.  Escaping Smyrna after the Turkish occupation, Dionysos consoles himself in the hashish parlors of Piraeus, spending every small bit of money so he can dream his life away.  However, his life undergoes a more than a dramatic change when he sees a picture of Seraphina, a singer who accompanies Aleko, a famous bouzouki player.  It’s 1923 and this form of Greek music is just beginning to become popular with its soulful sound and tone reflective of the Greek soul that has loved and suffered so deeply.

Seraphina is described as a gorgeous woman and Dionysos loses his mind, heart and soul after hearing her sing.  Truly she has the voice of a nightingale and Dionysos is so lost in that glorious being that he dances with her in a way that touches everyone watching and listening to this unexpected but glorious performance.

A love story begins but journeys where no one expects it to end.  For Seraphina is controlled by the tavern owner who is a Mafia-style figure.  Aleko knows the power and violence of Papazoglou, warning Dionysos to back off his passion for Seraphina.
Love is blind, however, and events quickly transpire leading to a devastating but passionate ending.  The beauty of this novel lies in the exquisite descriptions of the music produced with a bouzouki, the enchantment that binds Seraphina and Dionysos, the dances that give expression to life and love, and the almost indescribable depth of passion that these Greeks have for their homeland and unique culture.  

This is a novel you will not soon forget, a story emerging out of a painful period of Greek history, and a story of revival and love that no enemy could stifle.  Highly recommended!

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