Escape to Santorini
by Helen Ellis
Afraid for her life, Mary Illingford abandons her home in Sydney and her abusive and violent husband, Paul. With her daughter, Jenni, she embarks on a journey to a place where she thinks he will never find her - the island of Santorini, Greece. She is deeply concerned about her decision to run away, and nervous about what Paul will do when he finds out she has gone.
On Santorini they meet Mary's two friends - Eleni Kambouridis, owner of Apartments overlooking the beautiful caldera lake, and Julia Jeffries from England. Jenni, meets Eleni’s diffident son Marios who runs a local internet café, and they are immediately attracted.
Unknown to Mary, Paul is facing a fraud charge involving his real estate business. He is incensed when he discovers Mary has left him and resolves to find her, but everyone is keeping her destination secret.
Meanwhile the three women, and Eleni’s English friend John, learn about each other and share their problems in the beautiful surroundings of the Greek island. Mary discovers real friendship and support, Julia puts old issues behind her and extends her horizons, Eleni gains comfort beyond her family, and John shakes off the paranoia of his ex-wife. Jenni and Marios fall in love, and are challenged by the differences in their cultures and the difficulties in facing them.
In Australia, Paul gets a lead on their whereabouts. In doing so he is involved in an assault. Realising he is now facing serious charges as well as the ones for fraud, Paul flees Australia, assuming another persona. Gradually he works his way towards Santorini and Mary and Jenni…
- Helen Ellis, April 2012
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