The Summer Will Come

Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time. Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland's traditions and culture. Both families' lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost? A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn't always as imagined.
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‘You’re Cypriot!’ said the woman delightedly standing behind them in the queue; the sense of comradeship instantly obvious in her beaming face. Andreas and Elena were talking Greek in the grocery store. ‘I’m Georgette, originally from Pano Lefkara,’ she said to Evangelia, tapping her gently on the shoulder.
‘Oh how lovely to hear another Greek voice!’ A smile creased Evangelia’s tired face.
‘That’s how I feel when I hear our Mother tongue!’
‘So lovely not to have to try and figure out what’s being said. Sorry, I’m Evangelia. Lovely to meet you. I’m from Kato Lefkara, fancy meeting someone from the same village.’ Elena watched her mother’s face light up as she relaxed being around a fellow Cypriot. Her mother had never been warmly open towards strangers and seeing her mother smile and chatty made her happy.
‘Oh I have friends in Kato Lefkara… Maroulla and Zeno. You probably know them being such a small community.’
‘Oh yes, I do,’ said Evangelia, reddening slightly. ‘Their son Niko was in the same class as my two.’
‘I hear they’re planning to come to England too.’
‘Really? I haven’t heard.’
‘There are so many moving across with the troubles getting worse. Soon we will have our own piece of Cyprus here in the middle of London,’ said Georgette.
‘I would certainly welcome that.’
‘So you’re new round here?’
‘Yes, a couple of weeks in this area,’ Evangelia said, composing herself. ‘My husband’s been here a lot longer though.’
‘Well welcome, truly,’ said Georgette with warmth.
‘Thank you. We’re still finding our way around. The language and weather is the hardest thing for me. It’s grey, it’s dull, so little light. And of course I miss my things, my pots and pans, my cutlery. We couldn’t bring it all with us. I even miss the donkeys braying and the cockerel.’
‘Oh, I’ve been here for nearly two years and still miss my things from home. And I can’t speak English too well. There are a lot more Cypriots round this way though so I don’t have to make as much effort as I used to. But what choice do we have? You’ll get used to it in time just as I have,’ she laughed. ‘Apart from the weather!’
‘God willing. Lovely to meet you Georgette,’ said Evangelia paying for the shopping. ‘Hopefully see you again.’
‘Actually before you go, I hope you don’t mind me saying but, I’ve got a hot water bottle I don’t use anymore. You’re welcome to borrow it for the children for as long as you need,’ she offered. ‘I couldn’t help overhearing your son complain about the cold. It takes getting used to.’
‘The bedroom Elena and Andreas share is freezing. There’s a film of ice across the window panes last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Andreas is constantly complaining about the ice box chill every opportunity he has. It’s the first week of June and yet the cold continues to bite at our skin.’
Evangelia, hesitantly agreed to use it temporarily and was most grateful when one of Georgette’s sons, a strapping lad of about eighteen years old with jet black hair and eyes to match, dropped it over a couple of hours later. The earthenware device was eagerly passed between Andreas and Elena to warm up their beds. They both whooped with joy as their hot mattresses enveloped them as they settled for the night. With jumpers and coats piled over their blankets too Elena was cosy and warm as was her brother who said he loved the hot water bottle more than anything.
‘What a nice lady,’ Elena said, as she got into her warm bed. ‘She had lovely hair as well didn’t she mama? Like a film star,’ she said dreamily, remembering her soft black curls pinned into place.
‘Yes, lovely,’ said her mother fingering her dull, brown hair which hung limply round her shoulders.
‘And her blue coat was so pretty. All those folds across the back…it was lovely.’
‘I didn’t notice her coat but I’m so grateful I’ve met someone who I can speak Greek to, a new friend, someone who understands what it’s like to be in England.’
‘You can be happy here now mama. It won’t always be like this,’ she said delighted her mother had made a new friend. ‘And the summer will come, it just has to.’
As Elena said the words an ache in her stomach reminded her of the pain she used to get from eating too many sweet figs straight off the trees. No figs here, she thought, and no jingly bells to alert her to the return of Manoli’s herd at the end of his long shepherding day in the mountains.

Author Bio –
Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.
Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education. She is a mother of three boys.
She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes as well as proof reading and other writing services.
Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and The Summer Will Come is her second novel. She is currently working on a third novel Trust is a Big Word about an on-line illicit relationship that develops between two people.

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