Ri is a Cretan-born painter, internationally successful, who has worked and lived in London all her life. When her English Jewish husband dies, she paints her family and home landscape in Crete, where her elderly parents run a B&B, but a colleague sees something with-held or unsaid about these paintings. When Ri’s mother Sophia is hospitalised, possibly dying, she discovers why – she learns of a lost world, a past that has been hidden from her – Jewish Crete, the Holocaust on Crete – and her mother’s real name. She discovers that she herself, and now her own daughter, have an identity she knew nothing about.
Ruth Padel is an award-winning British poet and author, Professor of Poetry at King’s College and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She began as a classicist teaching ancient Greek, and has spent much of her life in Crete where she has helped on archaeological excavations, sung in Heraklion Town Choir, and taught poetry in Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Chania. Her non-fiction includes books on Greek tragedy and the influence of Greek myth on rock music, and her most recent poetry collection is Beethoven Variations . Her acclaimed second novel Daughters of the Labyrinth is ‘a moving, superbly written exploration of a family with dark secrets. Crete itself becomes one of the main characters in the story’ (Irish Times, Best Books of 2021). See www.ruthpadel.com.