THESSALONIKI: the crossroads between East and West… And in the turbulent, trouble- torn 20th century the city in which four lives cross, directly or indirectly…
Nikos Bakolas tells how ordinary men and women struggled to survive during a period of Greek history- roughly from the 1930s to the late 1940s- marked by oppression and violence and political polarities: the fascist dictatorship of Metaxas, the German Occupation, the Civil War. Against this backgound Fotis, jack-of-all-trades and adventurer, Christos, struggling journalist, Yannis, ambiguous scion of a well-to-do family, and Angela, orphan refugee from Asia Minor,-as well as Fotis’s son and Christos’s three children –grow to maturity and taste both sweetness and pain.
Interspersed between the chapters of this 20th century story is an imaginative and impressionistic recreation of a period of turbulence that occurred in Thessaloniki 600 years earlier- the Zealots’ uprising of the 1340s.
Characters, events and a bittersweet love story in the Middle Ages closely parallel those of the more recent past.
Finally, to complete this complex interweaving of history and fiction, the footnotes provide a third dimension: fact, in the form of personal memories.
Crossroads describes a time of cruelty, suffering and violence, yet with its compassionate tone the novel is a quiet celebration of the courage and endurance of the human spirit.