Fiction Thomas, Rosie The Potter's House

ISBN 13: 9780099271574

The Potter's House

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9780099271574: The Potter's House

Olivia Giorgiadis has left her English roots behind to find refuge on the tiny Greek island of Halemni. She is married to a Greek man, mother to two small sons. As the turquoise of summer dissolves into the cool of autumn, so the rhythm of island life goes on unchanged. Until this year. An earthquake ravages the Turkish coast, sending a tidal wave to envelop the island. Its force devastates Halemni tearing apart the fabric of the small community. In the aftermath a stranger appears. Kitty, an Englishwoman, is alone and without possessions. She accepts Olivia's offer of refuge in the potter's house. But Kitty guards her past as preciously as Olivia protects her young family. The arrival of Olivia's brother threatens the fragile equilibrium. Olivia begins to feel prickles of claustrophobia. Kitty yearns for the love and security Olivia takes for granted. But that life can never be hers. Or can it? Must the past always determine the future?

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Review:

It's on a close, airless night at the end of the summer season that the earthquake strikes, devastating the Turkish coast and generating a tsunami wave that crashes over the tiny Greek island of Halemni. It's a defining moment for t he two women at the heart of Rosie Thomas's The Potter's House. For Olivia, who has settled on the island with her Greek husband and two sons, it's a catalyst, forcing her to reassess her life away from England and take stock of what matters to her; for Kitty, it's a chance to turn her back on an unsuccessful marriage and start again, with a new identity, a rewritten past and a hopeful future.

When Kitty arrives on Halemni in the aftermath of the tidal wave, she's a woman who had "gradually become someone who listened, rather than a creature who went out and did things". But by throwing herself into helping the Greek villagers rebuild their homes, she gains independence and confidence, and slips seamlessly into Olivia's world. As the novel evolves, the two strikingly similar women become more alike, their lives begin to merge, dissolving into each other as time loses its linearity. Olivia's precious tranquillity is endangered; the villagers' lives are threatened by an uneasy claustrophobia that may well have more catastrophic results than the tsunami the autumn before.

Rosie Thomas has written several bestselling novels, including White, about an expedition to conquer Everest and Border Crossing, which recounts her participation in the 1997 Peking to Paris motor rally. Like these, The Potter's House is a compelling, disturbing exploration of inner strength, personal challenges and dramatic journeys. --Jane Honey

Review:

Rosie Thomas at her finest. At times warm and soothing, at others deep with a chilling menace, this is a finely crafted and rewarding read. -- Dorset Evening Echo, Sept 2001

Rosie Thomas can always be relied upon to deliver a good story. -- Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, August 2001

Rosie Thomas is a gifted storyteller who pulls her readers in from page one. -- Sainsbury's Magazine

Thomas' novels are beautifully constructed and written. This one is a treat. -- Marie Claire, Oct 2001

by the last page you will be left feeling that you have been a part of two special lives. Gripping and poignant, you'll be richer for reading it. 5 stars. -- Peterborough Evening Telegraph, Sept 2001

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Rosie Thomas
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