Lead Review

  • Book: The Way It Breaks
  • Location: Cyprus, Greek Islands
  • Author: Polis Loizou

Review Author: Tina Hartas



The Way It Breaks is an impressive work. It starts quite conventionally but moves on to the bizarre and, in all honesty, a trifle weird. Very much in the style of Polis’ earlier books. You are sort of shocked by what you read. Expected behaviour patterns are cast aside and anticipated thought processes are challenged.

Aristos is a Greek Cypriot hotel owner. He is a self made man. He divorced his first wife and then married a ‘trophy’ wife from Belarus. He has a daughter, Eva, by his first marriage. Eva was at school with Orestis, who has drifted and ended up serving at his uncle’s beach side bar. They meet again by chance and Eva arranges an interview for him at her father’s most prestigious hotel in Lemesos. So far, so good – and then the weirdness starts. Orestis stars a sideline as a gigolo… and there are strange sexual goings on. One of his clients will surprise you…

Aristos has plans for Orestis, and slowly brings him into the family. We wonder whether Orestis meeting again with Eva after many years was not entirely by chance. A web is woven as the tale moves towards its climax.

The Way It Breaks is an excellent book in TripFiction location terms. Cyprus is well and honestly described as are the Greek Islands encountered on a cruise. Cyprus is a country that has much changed over the years. I spent a fair amount of time there just before the Turkish invasion of 1974 – it was, and no doubt still is, a beautiful country. Polis describes the changes since then – the ‘Russian’ invasion and the growth of mass tourism. Polis was brought up in Cyprus, and his passion shines through. Parts of the story are based on his own experience. But he is realist. He tells it warts and all. The book is dedicated by Polis ‘to a liberated and united motherland’. That really says it all.

The Way It Breaks is well worth reading.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021