Thom Geier
April 05, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

A House in Corfu: A Family's Sojourn in Greece

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Emma Tennant
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a C

In the early 1960s, the parents of British novelist Tennant decided to build a house in a beautiful, isolated bay on the Greek island of Corfu. But Tennant’s considerable descriptive gifts can’t disguise the second-hand quality of this account, which offers neither the narrative pull that her expat parents might have provided nor the observational insight of a real journalist. At one point, she asks what locals made of Greece’s recent political turmoil and then concludes, frustratingly: ”We are xenoi, foreigners who never can really know.” Imagine a bound volume of 30-some years of a stranger’s holiday letters to friends. C

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