Review by The Guardian (selected “Guadian pick” comment)
I read ‘Serenity’ by Ilias Venezis, published by a great little press called Aiora, which publishes a good range of translated Greek fiction in lovely editions. ‘Serenity’ is about a group of refugees fleeing Asia Minor in the wake of the war between Greece and Turkey, and their attempts to start their lives over again. Overall, I enjoyed reading it; it’s well written, excellent in describing the beauty and harshness of the landscape, and held my attention. That said, I felt that the ending was a little too cruel on some of the characters involved (although that too is a positive; it’s hard to be outraged about the treatment of characters if you don’t care for them). It’s not the best novel I’ve read this year but it was a good read and it’s wonderful to see small presses translating these kind of books into English; there’s never enough of that kind of thing.