Published: 2nd Edition ~ February 2015 by Pelagos Press
Category: Memoir, Travel, Humour, Book Review
After an Arctic winter, a British recession, and a downturn in the newspaper industry, two journalists and their dog embark on an adventure in the wild and beautiful southern Peloponnese. A perfect plan, except for one thing – Greece is deep in economic crisis. And if fiscal failure can’t overturn the couple’s escapade in rural Greece, perhaps macabre local customs, a scorpion invasion, zero dog-tolerance, health scares, and touchy expats will.
Marjory McGinn and her husband Jim, along with their manic (but loveable) Jack Russell, Wallace, decided to escape the British recession and relocate to Greece, despite the financial crisis and repercussions, leaving behind their Scottish village and one of the coldest winters in years. Having spent many holidays in Greece, they chose the hill village of Megali Mantineia in the Mani region as their home for the following twelve months.
One Scottish friend was horrified when we told him our plans. “You’re not taking Wallace to Greece? Haven’t they got enough problems there already?”
One of the first people they meet, after an amusing encounter, who becomes a dear friend is the wonderfully eccentric goat and olive farmer, Foteini. There are many comedic moments, more than a few involving Wallace and attempting to converse in Greek. There’s beautifully vivid imagery of the area and various and varied locals, as Marjory and Jim’s love for Greece continues to develop.
Things Can Only Get Feta is a warm, fascinating and humorous account of life as an expat in rural Greece, combined with interesting historical snippets. Marjory and Jim were determined not to bedrawn in to the close knit expat community, but to live as authentic a Greek life as possible among the villagers, which sometimes gave them more than they bargained for as some of the local customs were a step too far. There are more ups than downs but never a dull moment.
I’ve never been to Greece but I image those who holiday there and/or are familiar with the country would also find lots to enjoy — engaging characters, the friends they make, descriptions of rural village life, the problems and the joys, and the history of the area to name just a few.
I chose to read and review Things Can Only Get Feta based on a copy of the book kindly supplied by the author.
Marjory McGinn is a Scottish-born journalist who has worked on newspapers in the UK, and Australia where she was brought up. In 2010, she set off for an adventure in the rural Mani, Greece, with her partner and their famously mad Jack Russell dog, Wallace. The adventure lasted four years and is the basis for her 3 travel memoirs: Things Can Only Get Feta, Homer’s Where the Heart Is, A Scorpion In The Lemon Tree. She has also published two novels also set in Greece: A Saint For The Summer and How Greek Is Your Love? in a 2-book series. And book 4 in her Peloponnese series, A Donkey On The Catwalk has just been published.
Marjory writes a blog with a Greek theme on her website www.bigfatgreekodyssey.com/blog. She likes swimming in the sea, improving her Greek, crazy terriers, and photography.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share...just click a button...or two ;o)