Wednesday, January 22, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Burning Island

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Burning Island by Suzanne Goldring.


They were not her children. But she would protect them with her life…

Corfu 1944. Though they don’t know it, five-year-old Matilde and three-year-old Anna have kissed their mother for the last time. The Nazis have reached their sun-scorched home, and they are being taken to a place of safety, on the north-eastern tip of the rocky island, to be hidden at great risk by kindly Agata and her husband until the terrible war is over.

Matilde and Anna’s tears are soothed by Agata’s bedtime stories, but she is always alert. So far no soldiers have ventured down the steep rocky hillside to their secret haven, but Agata knows they are constantly scouring the island for missing Jews. And then, on a day when Agata’s husband is away, a German soldier appears…

2016. Under a baking June sun, Amber and her husband arrive in Corfu from England, hoping for a fresh start. But not everyone is pleased by their arrival, and with the pressures of pregnancy, the couple grow further apart. Desperate to find a sense of belonging for herself and her unborn child, Amber finds herself drawn to the local story of two little girls, left by their parents and hidden for their own protection.

But there are some who would rather Amber left Corfu’s terrible history well in the past. Can Amber uncover the heart-breaking truth about the two little girls, and what happened after a German soldier took a swim in the bay by their house? If she does, can the secrets of the past help her find happiness, or send her running from the island, alone?

A gripping, heart-wrenching and compelling read about the shadows at the heart of the sun-drenched island of Corfu and survival against all odds. Fans of Victoria Hislop, The Nightingale and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will fall in love with Burning Island.

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Title:   Burning Island
Author:  Suzanne Goldring
Genre:   Historical Fiction; Women's Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   383
Date of Publication:   January 22, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

1944. 2016. Two stories. How did they tie in together?

For starters, World War II is in full swing and the parents of two very young girls in Corfu, Greece make a heart-wrenching decision. The Nazi occupation is in full swing and they know they are about to lose everything they know and love. So, the girls, Matilde and Anna, are hidden and managed to end up in the custody of Agata and Georgiu, family friends. Can Agata and her husband keep the children out of the hands of the Germans? If so, for how long?

As this story is written in dual time lines, it is now 2016. Amber and her husband James arrive in Corfu. They left England full of hope, and soon plan on starting their own business. Things are not easy for them. Actually, with Amber being pregnant during this transition, she is overwhelmed. While James explores business opportunities, Amber finds herself drawn to stories of decades ago about two little girls who were successfully hidden by the Germans during the second world war.

As Amber listened to the stories as they were related, I was captivated by Anna and Matilde's story, and especially with Agata's boldness. What will these stories bring to Amber? How, if at all, will this recounting of the past affect her present and future with husband James?

I am quite drawn to this time in history, and every time I read a book like this I cry, but what is more, is that the stories are always filled with hope shining through. I applaud Suzanne Goldring for doing that in Burning Island. Although many decades apart in age, it was wonderful to see how Anna, Matilde and Amber became connected.

As she did in her previous novel, My Name is Eva, and as is recounted in the Historical Note at the end of the book, the author shows that this fictional story is inspired by true events. I was shocked to find that Hitler reached as far as Greece! Every historical fiction book I have read about this tragic time in history is written with exceptional attention to detail. Ms. Goldring did an amazing job in writing this book.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Her debut novel MY NAME IS EVA draws on her experience of volunteering in a care home and was partially inspired by a cache of wartime love letters which were saved from the flames. Her second novel, BURNING ISLAND, is set in Corfu, a place of fun and beauty but also tremendous tragedy.

Suzanne writes in her thatched cottage in Hampshire and a seaside cottage in Cornwall. 


  1. Great review, don’t think it would be for me

  2. This looks like an interesting read. I enjoy a historical read every now and then. Great post!

  3. How thrilling! Great review! This sounds like a heart wrenching tale.

  4. I love fiction about this time period and dual timeline fiction can be fun.

  5. Lovely review, Robin. I always learn something from your thoughtful analysis - I wasn't aware the fiend had made it to Greece either

  6. Glad you enjoyed this book.
    I've been to Greece and it is amazing!

  7. I like the idea of a dual time line. Horrible to think how far the Nazi's regime travelled. Corfu is a gorgeous island. Great review.