Welcome to Zakynthos Books
The island of Zakynthos has been popular throughout time with many poets and writers. The Greek National Anthem was written Dionysios Solomos whilst overlooking Zakynthos Town and many poems have been written either on or about the island. Zakynthos has also inspired many great works from Heredotus to Strabo. The beauty, atmosphere and idyllic aspects of the island, have helped to create many memorable, past written works.
Nowadays, Zakynthos is still a huge inspiration for those who write. Many authors and writers have chosen to set both popular and award winning books on our beautiful island. From romantic fiction, to thrillers. Historical fiction to memoirs. There’s something for everyone, and it’s great that Zakynthos continues to inspire today.
Modern Books set on Zakynthos
The following books are a mix of books and short stories that you can purchase on Amazon, or other retailers if the publisher has made them available. The list is in alphabetical order of book title.
A Nice Day for a Greek Wedding by Debbie Ward
Genre: Holiday Fiction/Romantic Fiction
When Andrea and Jack decide to hold their wedding at their favourite hotel, on the Greek island of Zakynthos, their best friends, Elaine and Sid, are over the moon. The four friends all look forward to lazy days on the beach, warm, sultry evenings spent drinking exotic cocktails, fabulous food and the company of good friends. What could possibly go wrong?
As family and friends of the bride and groom start arriving at the Ionian Dream Hotel, things start to unravel. With more skeletons being unveiled than at an archaeological dig, will the wedding actually go without a hitch?
Is Veronica exactly who she says he is? Where does Johnson spend his time? What is Lizzie’s dark secret? And has anyone actually seen the “willy fish”?
These, and many other questions will be answered as you join Elaine, Sid and the rest of the wedding party on an unforgettable, and sometimes hilarious, holiday to celebrate Andrea and Jack’s special day. If you love Greece, especially the beautiful island of Zakynthos, then this is the perfect holiday read for you.
Agapi Mou by Donnie
Agapi Mou (my beloved in Greek) is five stories told by five different people. Part love story, heartache and historical fiction this book engages the reader with stories that by the final pages brings together lost lovers of over 57 years on a veranda overlooking the Ionian Sea on the Island of Zakynthos, Greece. Agapi Mou is a moving tribute to the human heart and to surviving the loss of love. Think of this book as somewhat like Shirley Valentine but the Shirley that doesn’t want to run away to Greece to get away from life, but the Shirley that goes to Greece to learn about life. This book will inspire you to travel, to regain the person inside that has hopes, dreams, desires as well as give you the knowledge that even Edger Allen Poe was a man of beautiful poetry as he too found inspiration on the island and penned a poem, “Sonnet-to Zante” in 1837.
Among the Olive Groves by Chrissie Parker
Genre: Holiday Fiction/Historical Fiction/Time Slip/Dual Timeline
Elena Petrakis adores living on the Greek island of Zakynthos. When World War Two looms her way of life is threatened. Left with no choice she joins the island’s resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom.
Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future.
From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, ‘Among the Olive Groves’ is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.
An Ionian Dream Wedding by Chrissie Parker
Genre: Holiday Fiction/Romantic Fiction
When Kate Fisher discovers her best friend Ashleigh is getting married she’s both delighted and disappointed. Kate’s happy for her friend, but since returning from Zakynthos two years previously, Kate’s relationship with her boyfriend Fletch has plateaued and she’s worried they won’t make it.
When Ashleigh announces she will be getting married on Zakynthos, Kate’s excited to have a chance to return to the island. But where will this leave her and Fletch, will Zakynthos cement their future or be the thing that ends them?
This short story reunites readers of Among the Olive Groves with familiar, and favourite, characters from the original book.
Echoes in the Sand by Gwyneth Williams
Genre: Romantic Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Forty-two year old Helen returns one summer to Zakynthos, the Greek island where her life took a dramatic turn two years earlier. She brings with her Chloe, her sixteen year old daughter, who is fighting demons of her own. Relations between mother and daughter are strained, as they struggle to understand the different ways they are coping with their family’s tragedy.
The death of Helen’s husband Philip has left them shattered and seeking comfort at the hotel where they spent their final family holiday all together. But has Helen come to Zakynthos to confront the ghosts of her past, or to revive the affair which nearly tore her family apart once already?
For the married hotel owner, Nikos, is the man she nearly left her family for two years before, lost in her all-consuming passion for him. Seeing the love of her life again makes Helen question not only her future, but her past as well. Should she resist her feelings for Nikos, or is he her last chance at happiness? And what if her affair is not the only betrayal lurking in her family’s past?
‘Echoes in the Sand’ is a heart-breaking story of love and loss, and the war between the head and the heart.
Eleni by Nicholas Gage
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biography
A son’s quest to avenge his mother’s murder.
In 1948, in a Greek mountain village, Eleni Gatzoyiannis was arrested, tortured and shot. She was one of the 158,000 victims of the Greek Civil War. Her crime had been to help her children escape from the Communist guerrillas who occupied their village. Her son, Nicholas Gage, was then eight years old. Eleni is the story of his obsessive and harrowing reconstruction of his mother’s life and death and his pursuit of his mother’s killer.
Eternal Soul Mates (Flames of Destiny) by Angel Sefer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
In Eternal Soul Mates, the past merges with the present in a haunting and captivating story of love, loss, and betrayal.
Joanna Williams is bewildered by her mother’s mysterious past and scorching dreams of an irresistible stranger. Trying to find some answers, she visits her mother’s birthplace—the Greek Island of Zakynthos.
Alexandros Kortesis—the owner of a luxury resort on Zakynthos—is drawn to Joanna like no other. But a dark secret threatens his family’s legacy, and unfortunately, Joanna is the one trying to uncover it.
Danger and passion collide as the two soul mates—unaware that they were lovers in a past life—confront each other while at the same time try to resist the compelling force that draws them together. Will their eternal love prevail? Or will the battle against the evil guarding the secret lead them to their graves?
Eternal Soul Mates is a reincarnation romance story, cloaked in mystery and suspense. The action unfolds on the Greek Island of Zakynthos—a paradise on earth, in the aquamarine waters of the Ionian Sea.
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
Genre: Literary/Contemporary Fiction
Athos and I stood together on deck and looked across the water at the bright city. From this distance no one would guess the turmoil that had torn apart Greece … The sea began to darken, and Athens, glowing in the distance, seemed to float on the horizon like a bright ship.
Jakob Beer is seven years old when he is rescued from the ruins of a buried village in Nazi-occupied Poland. He is the only one of his family to have survived the invasion. Adopted by his saviour, the Greek geologist Athos, Jakob must steel himself to excavate the horrors of his own history.
A novel of astounding beauty and wisdom, Fugitive Pieces is a profound meditation on the resilience of the human spirit and love’s ability to restore even the most damaged of hearts.
The Girl in the Portrait by Dougie McHale
Genre: Romantic/Literary/Historical Fiction
Mark has a past he is struggling to forget. Abriana has a past she needs to confront, at all costs. Together, they have a history – a devastating love affair.
When Abriana unexpectedly contacts Mark to help her find the original owner of a hundred-year-old portrait they are brought together again by its hidden past and intrigue. Travelling to the Greek island of Zakynthos, they find, Pavlos, a man who will change both their lives. As the only living connection to the portrait, he begins to unravel its extraordinary story from 1900s London to evocative Tuscany during the Second World War.
Who is the beautiful woman in the portrait and will she give up her secret?
As Mark slowly discovers, his union with Abriana is haunted by irreversible events from the past as he finds himself caught up in a world of betrayal and deception, of mystery and thievery and love and loss. As a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make their past and present collide, Mark, discovers the portrait’s secret is about to play out its final episode, a secret that has the power to change everything.
The Homecoming by Dougie McHale
Genre: Romantic/Literary Fiction
Louis Satriani, a successful architect, has the perfect life- or so he thinks, until he finds out his partner is having an affair. Distraught, he abandons his life and embarks on a journey that will take him through the landscapes of Greece and into a family’s hidden past.
Maria Nasiakos, an attractive tour guide, living on the Greek island of Zakynthos, feels that life is passing her by. When she meets Louis, a decision is made that will change both their lives forever.
Forced to confront past love and betrayal, Louis has to choose between his heart and head. As he unravels the truth about the extraordinary past of Maria’s mother, can their love survive life changing events and the unfolding of a secret that can only be resolved by a homecoming?
How Do You Say Murder In Greek?: The Sergeant Spiros Series: Volume 1
Book 1 of 3 which deals with Sergeant Spiros as he deals with a murder or murders on the island of Zakynthos, Greece.Sergeant Spiros is from Zakynthos, an island located in the Ionian Sea between Italy and the mainland of Greece. For many years he has lived in Athens and served on the police force. Coming home to ‘wrap up’ things in his families home, he is thrown into various situations that he, himself never knew existed. One was a murder that happened twenty-five years ago.
How Do You Say Murder In Greek – Book 2: The Sergeant Spiros Series: Volume 2 by Donnie
This is Book 2 of a 3 part series; this book is subtitled: The Clue This exciting second book in the series takes Sergeant Spiros a broader chase for answers to many unsolved questions. Why was a young tourist drugged? Who really is Sophia? Has a murder taken place? Sergeant Spiros is from Zakynthos, an island located in the Ionian Sea between Italy and the mainland of Greece. For many years he has lived in Athens and served on the police force. Coming home to ‘wrap up’ things in his families home, he is thrown into various situations that he, himself never knew existed. One was a murder that happened twenty-five years ago.
How do you say murder in Greek?: Sergeant Spiros Series Book 3 – The Conclusion: Volume 3
The finale of a 3 part series; this book is subtitled: The Conclusion This exciting conclusion in the series takes Sergeant Spiros a broader chase for answers to many unsolved questions. How will this all end – even Spiros will have to wait and find out! Sergeant Spiros is from Zakynthos, an island located in the Ionian Sea between Italy and the mainland of Greece. For many years he has lived in Athens and served on the police force. Coming home to ‘wrap up’ things in his families home, he is thrown into various situations that he, himself never knew existed. One was a murder that happened twenty-five years ago.
It’s all Greek at Sea! by Debbie Ward
Genre: Holiday Fiction/Romantic Fiction
After the year from hell, Sally and Mike decide that what they really need is a holiday, so they book themselves on a cruise around the Greek Islands on the luxurious Grecian Princess.
Follow them on a journey of discovery as the ship docks at Zakynthos, Crete and Santorini, to name but a few of the stunning Greek islands they see on their travels. Join them on their shore excursions and sample the delights of local cuisine at beachside tavernas then back on board for some fine dining and great entertainment.
Lots of laugh out loud moments as new found friends get to know each other and find out that some fellow passengers are not quite what they seem! Is smarmy Simon, who is holidaying with his bimbo wife Candy, exactly who he says he is? Who did Sally and Anton catch in a compromising situation? And what exactly is Hannah’s secret?
If you love Greece and/or cruising or just want to read about somewhere warm and sunny, with great food and wine and the chance to make amazing new friends, then this is the book for you.
Margaritas Olive Press by Rodney Shields
Genre: Historical/Travel Fiction
An enchanting true story of one man’s 20 year odyssey on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos. Dennis Potter was the first to enjoy early tales of life at the olive press, which he found ‘diverting and properly flavoured with yoghurt and honey’. ‘The house is in a wild place and stands on its own – like its owner’ is the introduction Rodney Shields is given to the remote house on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, which is to become his obsession for the next twenty years. The universal dream of finding an island paradise and making it reality is explored with wit and detail, and sometimes high drama. Rodney sets out with a vision: to find a property on the Greek island which he and his family have come to love. During his search he builds lasting friendships with islanders, becomes involved in the often tricky minutiae of Greek marital relations, until finding the ideal property – and meeting its formidable owner, Margarita. This is followed by complicated negotiations in Greek property law – the outcome of which are frequently reliant on a carrier bag full of almonds. All set amid the brilliant blue Ionian sea and olive groves which have enticed travellers for centuries. Having secured the property – or at least part of it – the drama continues over the next twenty years; rendering the place habitable by the use of mules, achieving a natural source of water without interference from snakes. Finally Rodney and his family can enjoy the simple pleasure of their island paradise amid old and new friends alike – until the dream is threatened by an approaching island fire.
Miracle at Zakynthos by Deno Seder
Genre: Historical Fiction (Based on true events)
Nearly ninety percent of Greek Jews perished during the Holocaust. Most were killed at Auschwitz/Birkenau. But on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, the entire Greek Jewish community was saved from annihilation.
The German commander on Zakynthos, Alfredo Litt, a vile, treacherous man, ordered the island’s Bishop Chrysostomos and Mayor Loukas Carrer to prepare a list of all the Jews on the island. He gave them 72 hours to deliver the list. What happened next was a series of remarkable and historic acts of human courage, compassion and cunning.
The story illuminates the humanity of a people who risked their lives to save their neighbors. It documents many of the horrors and atrocities during the occupation in Greece and then takes the reader on a journey high into the remote mountain villages of Zakynthos where Greek Christians hid their Jewish neighbors to protect them from certain death. It recounts the many acts of human kindness and compassion, large and small, that restored faith in mankind and renewed hope for survival.
My Map of You by Isabelle Broom
Genre: Romantic/Women’s Fiction
A holiday on the stunning Greek island of Zakynthos, with its perfect blue skies, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, should be a dream come true.
But for Holly it feels more like a nightmare. Arriving on the island to clear out a house she’s just inherited, Holly has no idea what to expect. And she’s certainly not prepared for the family secrets she uncovers inside.
With the help of Aidan, her handsome neighbour, Holly sets out to explore the island, hoping to piece together her own lost story. Yet all too soon real life, including the boyfriend she left behind, threatens to catch up with her. Holly thinks she’s following the secrets of the past but might it turn out to be a map to her future?
On a Greek Island by Ralph Lavelle
Genre: Travel Writing
Irishman Ralph Lavelle went to the Greek island of Zakynthos on an extended break with his family and finally got a chance to explore Zante (as Zakynthos is also known) in depth. It’s a place they love – his wife Tina’s parents are from there – but one which they never got to spend much time in on previous occasions.
Experiencing springtime and Easter on ‘Il fiore di Levante’ for the first time, over the next four months Ralph brought his Greek up to official ‘not bad at all now’ standard, joined a traditional mandolin and guitar group, and shared in the growing anxiety everyone felt that Greece might be forced to leave the Eurozone before too long.
In June, when the kids finished school, they all took the morning ferry off the island, piled into a car, and saw some truly spectacular sights on a tour of the Peloponnese. Back on Zante one week later, there was just about time for the local village Paniyiri before their short time was up.
In this book, Ralph talks about books, movies, the state of the island, and ponders two aspects of Zante – its culture and traditions, and its reliance on mass tourism. The beautiful, under appreciated (by most visitors to Zante, certainly) Greek language gets a look in too. This is a warm-hearted account of a glorious season spent on this Mediterranean jewel, during a turbulent few months for Greece.
Puddles of Love by Netty Morgan
Genre: Romantic Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
Madeline Kalvos was much loved, respected and admired on the island of Zakynthos. When she died and left her estate to a long lost niece everyone was aghast. Helen Hardy, recently widowed, is shocked to discover the truth about her long, forgotten Aunt Maddie. A bizarre and watertight clause in the will instructs Helen to spend thirty days on Zakynthos. Join Helen and her ditzy friend Dotty as they land on the beautiful Ionian island and immerse themselves in the wonderful and often eccentric world of the Zakynthian animal lovers. Helen has just thirty days to make the most important decision of her life, with a few individuals. determined to chase her off the island, it certainly won’t be all wine and roses.
Markos Kalvos, a local vet, had adored his Uncles wife. As a young boy Madeline had taken him under her wing and financed his studies. Appalled that Madeline’s English family so cruelly cut her out of their lives, he already hates Helen Hardy with a passion. Fulfilling a dying Madeline’s wish that he look after Helen, he has no other choice than to meet her at the airport and guide her through the next thirty days. The hate soon turns to an unrequited love when he witnesses Helen risk her own safety to save three motherless pups. Helen, still raw from her husband’s strange and untimely death is not ready to love again…or is she?
Swimming Pool Summer by Rebecca Farnworth
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Frankie hasn’t had a proper relationship for years. But though she tells everyone this is how she wants it, secretly she’s in love with her best friend Patrick.
Tor didn’t think she could have a baby, but now she is pregnant by her younger lover. Could this mean the end of a romance that has started to mean more to her than she expected?
Leila seems to have it all – a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter and a successful career. But Leila is harbouring a secret that could destroy her marriage forever.
On an idyllic Greek island, the three women try to keep their secrets hidden. But emotions are running high, and when an unexpected guest arrives, events start to spin out of control…
Zakynthos Blue and Black by D.C Baker
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Trying to escape from tragedy, Australian Dennis Segar travels through Greece to the beautiful island of Zakynthos. But instead of the invisibility and solitude that he seeks, he finds himself promoted as the possible reincarnation of Saint Dionysios, the revered patron saint of the island. He becomes involved in murder, intimate relationships, and a struggle to survive. From the author: This story started as a seed and a small possibility until an incident when I visited the Church of Agios Dionysios in Zantes on the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos. It made me determined to complete a book that would somehow include the piety of this wonderful Saint and the love that remains for him today after almost four hundred years. That incident is faithfully told in the storyline.
Themes within the book include: • That it is never too late for; love, passion and adventure! • The seagull, in its natural environment, is a noble bird • The harrowing experience of depression
We hope that you will find a book you enjoy reading. If you do, recommend them to your friends and family, so they can see what a great place Zakynthos is and how it’s inspired so many wonderful books to be written about it.