The Green Shore
Through lyrical prose of wisdom and sophistication, we follow the adventures of one family, whose stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of this turbulent period. Eleni, a widowed doctor, struggles with her lost sense of passion, both personal and political, in the face of this latest challenge to democracy. Her brother, Mihalis, an eccentric poet of some renown, finds himself keeping a low profile as he attempts to reconcile with his estranged wife. Eleni’s daughter Sophie, a student of French literature, gets swept up in the resistance alongside her privileged, left-leaning boyfriend, while her youngest child, pensive Anna, watches events unfold with increasing anxiety. As the years pass and the dictatorship’s oppressive rule continues unchallenged, their lives unfold in surprising ways, each seeking and finding love and fulfillment as they struggle to make their own peace with when to stay silent and when to act.
Set in Athens and Paris, The Green Shore is an ambitiously told and transporting literary tour de force that delves into a momentous episode in the history of a distant country. The stories of these unforgettable characters sear our hearts and make us understand not only this place, but also what it means to be human, in a new way.
Reading Group Guide
On an April night in 1967 while the city of Athens slept, the Greek military quietly engineered a government takeover. By dawn, private life and public space were forever changed. Readers of Natalie Bakopoulos’s masterful debut witness this devastating event and its brutal aftermath through the stories of four characters: Sophie, a twenty-one-year-old student of French literature who gets swept up in the excitement of the resistance; her mother, Eleni, a widowed doctor who rediscovers the political passion of her younger years; Mihalis, Eleni’s brother and an outspoken poet; and Anna, Sophie’s younger sister who sheds her childhood shyness and flourishes as an activist, risking her life to defy the military regime. This turbulent, passionate, and devastating era of recent history is brilliantly portrayed through the lens of a family—each member struggling to find their own version of peace and fulfillment in unsettled times.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
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