A memoir of Greece–and self-discovery–by a woman spurned by love.
For lovers of travel and Greece, Ikaria will strike a familiar chord. Sullivan’s book easily captures the sense of amazement and wonder a person feels when surrounded by a world nearly forgotten. Struggling to keep her life in one piece, the author traveled to Greece for a two-month stretch, leaving her children, family and friends behind in Oregon. Her fascination with Greece started with the language–while taking a course in Greek, she fell in love with her instructor Mikis, a young graduate student several years her junior. Devastated by his rejection, Sullivan escaped to Greece, a place defined by its rich mythology, deep history and vibrant culture, to recover from the embarrassing blow. Sullivan’s trip is fueled by passion and loneliness, selfishness and desperation, and she punctuates her experiences with subtle, poignant sentences that accurately describe these heartfelt and very human emotions. â€œTravel is good practice for dying,” she writes. â€œYou can’t really believe you are going away. Yet you have chosen a day to do it, and that day comes. You have to travel to remember.” The narrative is, at times, as aimless as a wandering vagrant, hapless as a traveler with no itinerary. Sullivan describes several trips to Greece after her first visit, but does not map out a clear chronology. However, the novel remains lyrical and episodic in its poignant meanderings. Ikaria is a meditation on travel and memory and a token of the author’s love affair with the quaint Greek Island of the northern Aegean.
A book about how the unexpected can lead to revelation, which covers the familiar territory of travel as therapy.