BOOK REVIEW: Mermaid Singing by Charmian Clift

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

The story of a year spent by two Australian writers on the Greek island of Kalymnos in the 1950s.

My Thoughts:

This book was given to me by my aunt when I was in my 20s, as I had always wanted to go to Greece. I have read it a few times, and it never fails to delight me. Charmian Clift was an Australian journalist and novelist who moved to Greece with her husband and two young children in the 1950s. They find themselves on Kalymnos, as they are interested in the island’s age-old tradition of sponge-diving and are thinking of writing a novel inspired by the lives they encounter. Life there is simple but intense; the sponge-divers are often crippled by their work and everyone is poor. There is a lot to be learned on this tiny Greek island, however, about living joyously and intensely, and Charmian Clift charts a year in their life there with considerable lyricism and charm. She should be much more widely celebrated.

You might also like to read my review of Half The Perfect World by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell:

Kate Forsyth
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