Family traditions …. Strong bond between a young American lady and her Greek Granny … Hard times and hidden secrets … Love and passion for life … All these major ideas are revealed “When the Cypress Whispers” by Yvette Manessis Corporon on the beautiful small Hellenic islet of Erikousa.
This is really a tender story of a young American woman, of Greek origin, called Daphne. Her parents leave their small Ionian islet that is only some kilometers off the island of Corfu in search of a better life. Unfortunately, their new life as immigrants in the USA brings the young girl no happiness. Her mamá and papá are killed by a drug addict while her great love Alex dies in a car accident. She is left all alone with a baby in hands. But at that very moment life smiles at her for the second time. She aspires to the American Dream after she becomes a successful chef in her own Greek restaurant in New York. She finds a handsome and wealthy fiancé whom she’s going to marry. In other words, apparently she has everything she has ever dreamed of. Yes, but No at the same time….
She misses her Yia–yia (Granny) who has lived across the ocean on Erikousa all her life. That’s why Daphne decides to get married in the place where she spent her joyful childhood summers, where her beloved grandmother lives, where the young lady comes from. She brings her 5-year daughter to the paradise where they both dive into the old-world traditions, mouth-watering Hellenic meals, traditional sirtaki and ancient myths which help Daphne start living again. The protagonist gets to know her Yai-yia’s deep secrets from the World War II and stories of loyalty that are related to the destiny of young local lad whose Jewish family was saved by Daphne’s grandmother. All these circumstances and the few days spent on the island make her realize that making money is not the most important thing in her life and security isn’t the same as love. She should teach herself to listen to and hear the voices of cypresses and Gods, her Yia-yia’s wisdom and the whispers of life. Actually, all these whispers help us make life-change decisions and start living our own life guided by our beloved persons who always stay with us no matter they are gone one day.
“What is the point of living your American Dream, Daphne mou, if you are sleepwalking through life? ….. Sometimes, Daphne mou, when we don’t know which path to take, when we feel hopeless and lost, we just need to be still and listen. Sometimes our salvation is right there, just waiting to be heard. The cypress whispers are always there for us, just waiting to be heard…..”
– from When the Cypress Whispers