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Brandy Sour

Brandy Sour

Author(s): Constantia Soteriou

Location(s): Cyprus

Genre(s): Novella

Era(s): Contemporary

When it was built in the 1950s, nothing symbolised Cyprus entering the modern world like the Ledra Palace Hotel. In Constantia Soteriou’s jewel of a novella, the ambitions and shortcomings of the island’s turbulent twentieth century are played out by its occupants. Among them we meet the king in exile who needs to drown his sorrows with a drink disguised to look like tea; the porter who, among the English roses of the hotel’s gardens, secretly plants a rose from his village to make his rosebud infusions; the UN officer who drinks lemonade to deal with the heat and the lies; and the cleaning lady who always carries her holy water with her. They are reluctant actors in history, evocatively captured in this moving, personal, and highly original portrait of civil strife and division.

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