By Brenda Chamberlain

ISBN-10: 1848397097

ISBN-13: 9781848397095

ISBN-10: 1905762860

ISBN-13: 9781905762866

A gorgeous and private account of the time spent by way of Brenda Chamberlain at the Greek Island of Ydra within the early 1960's. Sea and harbor, mountain and monastery, her buddies and neighbors are unforgettably pictured; those have been the truth outdoor herself whereas inside there has been a clash of emotion and warring wants that's additionally vividly delivered to existence. pleasure and woe are woven wonderful during this checklist: the pride of a mess of unpolluted stories thronging to the senses, the being affected by which she emerges with new realizing of herself and human life.

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Extra resources for A Rope of Vines: Journal From a Greek Island (Library of Wales)

Example text

A snake, not seen but sensed, crossed our path, while in the air, on high and glittering wires, hung arachne-spinners. Centipedes. Lizards. No sign as yet of scorpions. Praying mantids. A pale green caterpillar with blue-jewelled back. A cicada trying out its voice for summer. A giant saffron-green lizard so startled that it leapt high into the air, overbalanced and landed upside down in a bush on the path below. In the small whitewashed one-woman monastery with a pencil-sharp cypress tree against a contorted rock and a nimble woman-servant tending a black goat under the 13 pencil-tree, lives this young and beautiful nun who was rich but who gave money and possessions to the church because she had had an unfortunate love affair.

Within this haphazard clutter of sugar cube on sugar cube, it is surprising to discover that so many houses have shady patios with vine-trellises overhead and pots of flowers. This is an uneasy island, ghost-ridden, and with black 11 danger in the air. It is advisable to keep the well covers closed at night, for it is possible to have the spirit of a dead person down there, and in the dark hours it is likely to walk abroad if the iron lid is left off. The half-strangled agony of donkey and mule bray makes for uneasiness too, day and night.

Here is the daughter’s triumph, old age being beaten by stringy vigour of middle age. The grandmother can never grow accustomed to this moment of betrayal, when the daughter walks out into her private affairs. The two women scream at one another for as long as Sophia is within voice-striking distance, then the grandmother continues for her own satisfaction and that of the cats – the words are repeated over and over, her voice deep at first, rising to a sudden sharply screamed curse. She flits back and fore in the small space of her house, to and fro about the dim oil-lamp, while the cats prowl over the table, taking quick snaps at the old one’s supper.

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A Rope of Vines: Journal From a Greek Island (Library of Wales) by Brenda Chamberlain


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