Book review: Better Dead Than Divorced

As I read this compelling memoir I experienced a mixture of feelings and the most prominent one was anger. I felt enraged, not just for the murder of Panayota and for all the cruelty she had to endure in the hands of her despicable husband, but also about the terrible social restraints that led this woman to prefer death rather than become a divorcee. The latter is a notion that’s unthinkable in Greece today but sadly at the time the stigmatization of divorced women was a common phenomenon.

Panayota’s husband was a man of no honor, no ethics and clearly had the characteristics of a true psychopath. I was relieved that he came to pay for his crime and was amazed by the steel determination of Panayota’s cousin (the author’s father) to make sure the killer was brought to justice, regardless of the obstacles he found in his way.

The book amazed me with its storytelling style which was a lot less gruesome/depressing than I’d expected it to be. The author, much to his credit, chose to tell the story in a detached way, thus saving the reader from harsh prose heavy with hard feelings. As a result, this read like fiction even and made my reading pleasure so much better for it.

I would greatly recommend this to anyone interested to sample Greek village life in a bygone era, at a time when life often led young women to impossible choices and victimized them unfairly in the hands of men.

 

My rating

5 stars

A compelling tale of a murder foretold

 

Interested in memoirs, stories of true crime, or tales of Greek village life in the old days? This book is bound to deliver all you’re hoping for.

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Check out my interview with Lukas Konandreas on this site!

 

 

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