Suzi Stembridge's Novels, Blog & A File on Greece


An introduction to Suzi Stembridge's eight novels

The series JIGSAW charts the fortunes and adventures of Rosalind, her ancestors, her partners and offspring, their family and friends with six main characters: Samuel, Soula, Helene, Rosalind, Andrew and Gerald. The whole series explores issues such as cowardice, power, loss, alcoholism, early pollution, childbirth including the attitude to illegitimacy and abortion, same sex feelings or relationships, climate change, blackmail, fire including forest fire. The books often take on a feeling of a thriller but with historical accuracy paramount and a true spirit of place they aim to be a journey and a history. Settings in Greece, London and the north of England and Wales are common to the series. The narrative of each follows a theme and embraces the two centuries when, after the Battle of Navarino in 1827, following 400 years of almost continuous Ottoman occupation, Greece became an independent state at last. The locations in Greece aim to reflect the vast knowledge of Greece Suzi acquired during her professional life as a tour operator. The voice used in each book deliberately echoes the different periods.


The GREEK LETTERS Quartet  splits the four volumes into fifty-year periods of Modern Greek history.


The four books in the COMING OF AGE trilogy are set chronologically before the final volume of GREEK LETTERS, but the crafting of the books means that they all can be read in any order. Cast a Horoscope is an insight into the 1960s before mass tourism in Grece. The Scorpion's Last Tale set in Corfu at the time of the Colonel's Junta in the early 1970s, is followed by Bright Daffodil Yellow which begins in Kyrenia before the Turkish invasion in1974. The Glass Class is set in Yorkshire, ending in Athens and Spetses.


As Suzi has been writing she has been keenly aware that although the world from Regency times to the recent Millennium probably signified an era, with recognisable mores and manners and often described as the Industrial Age, everything now in civilisation and the earth is changing, from technology, science and nature, to how we handle words. We are now entering a new age: one which many think will have profound consequences.


The four volumes of GREEK LETTERS are the most historical. Three of the books stand out as a social history: GREEK LETTERS Volume 2, the award winning CAST A HOROSCOPE, and THE GLASS CLASS but the series as a whole could be classified in that genre. In addition to THE SCORPION'S LAST TALE three of the other books have sinister elements: GREEK LETTERS Volume 4, THE GLASS CLASS, & BRIGHT DAFFODIL YELLOW.


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