The Defiant Spirit of Spinalonga, an Island of Exiles

by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte

Some of the most compelling images of Victoria Hislop's book The Island are to be found in the opening paragraphs. She evokes the picture of a little boat, bobbing and lurching on the sea, bound on the saddest voyage possible, conveying a young, beautiful woman with no outward marks of a deadly disease, her "long strands of dark hair blowing freely in the wind" to Spinalonga, the island of no return for sufferers of leprosy.

My own hair was blowing freely in the stiff breeze that announced the onslaught of the fierce afternoon Meltemi, a wind typical of July and...

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