|About the Book|
It all started in Smyrna, a short while before the ruthless expulsion of Greeks from Asia Minor. The heroine of the book, still a very young woman then, grabs the reins of her life and that of her family’s and leads them out and away of theirMoreIt all started in Smyrna, a short while before the ruthless expulsion of Greeks from Asia Minor. The heroine of the book, still a very young woman then, grabs the reins of her life and that of her family’s and leads them out and away of their predicament like a real man, like a father and a brother.This novel unfolds in Alexandria of the Greek poet Kavafis- in which he lived most of his life along with a large portion of Greek people - and is completed in Crete, on a coast right across Alexandria.“ The souls ”, as the author writes in his book, “ desperately sought to return to the earth,” wander around us at least for a while and wear their earthly attire through the lines of this book. “ The Song of the Soul ” is about a real story.This novel was to be written to offer the sense of powerful bonds between the members of a family during wartime.Yet, unintentionally, a strong character was born from its words, young Marika, who, at the age of thirteen, came to meet life and death at the same time.We are in Izmyr in 1921. In her mother’s bedroom, where she was taken in a hurry from school, she saw her newborn sister in the cradle and her father, lying dead on the iron bed, beside it. His colleagues had put him there after his deadly fall at the shipyards where he’s been working. Young Marika is at a loss unable to understand the tragedy around her, which simply overturned her plans and crushed her dreams.Uncle George, her mother’s brother, invites them all to come and stay with him in Alexandria where they could cope with the family needs after their loss. Uncle George has a wife, Aunt Paraskevi, and nine children- Marika, apart from her mother has got four younger brothers and sisters, including the newborn. The big dining table of the family is always laid. In that home, all different ages and interests make Aunt Paraskevi renew all the time the delicacies on it, in order for the children, siblings and cousins together, to find something to eat when they have time.Marika doesn’t take long to find her way in the multinational, multicultural society of Alexandria. When she started looking for a job she first went to the sea, where there was once built the Lighthouse. She was so fond of the sea, like her father. There, she made a wish and gave a promise. She asked the Nereids to help her and her family, and then … she promised them her soul.Soon, Marika turns from the kid who picks the pins from the floor in the bra and corset factory of Madame Bernar, a Polish-Jewish cosmopolitan lady, to the owner of the business thanks to her hard work and her boss’ sympathy. When Madame Bernar decides to go to her daughter in Poland, long before the war, Marika inherits the factory paying little by little.When, just before the war, she hears about Madame Bernar’s death, she feels the need to offer her a memorial service and, not daring to go to the Synagogue, she goes to the Orthodox church and asks for a service to her teacher, as she calls her. Her generosity and donations to several church foundations don’t leave much choice for denial to the priests.Now, she’s got enough money to be powerful and impose her will. Her decisions, some of the times, sound strange to her friends and people who know her, but… that’s Marika, as they say.She educates, builds dowries, decides and chooses grooms and brides for her four siblings but she remains solid and set to her decision to remain single, free and independent.After a lot of encouragement and pressures, the Patriarch himself added to this, Marika agrees to get married and chooses a friend of hers from childhood. It is an unfortunate marriage. Her first child dies shocking the whole family. Marika, decisive as ever, gets pregnant soon after.