NEW YORK – The Hellenic Book Club of New York presented a special event with speakers Lou Katsos, Daniel Padovano, and author Karen Batshaw who spoke about her book Light and Shadows on January 12 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan.
Katsos and Padavano highlighted the history of the time period featured in Batshaw’s work and offered their insights for all those present.
The book is a compelling work of historical fiction which starts off in the 1960s and then flashes back to Smyrna during the Asia Minor Catastrophe to tell the story of young Andreas and his family and then intertwines the story of Rebecca and her family in Kavala.
The book draws the reader in as it brings the history of the Catastrophe and then the World War II Occupation to life with great attention to detail and some solid characters. Acts of kindness amidst the horrors experienced during the periods of history covered in the book remind us of our shared humanity.
Beginning with the Catastrophe, the book then recounts the Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey and continues with the brutal occupation of northeast Greece by the Bulgarians during WWII.
As noted in the book’s description, “at first the Bulgarians tried to force out the Greek Orthodox, to make room for Bulgarian settlers. They tried to wipe out any vestige of the Greek culture and language. The last phase of their occupation was the transport of the Greek Jews to Treblinka which resulted in their total annihilation.”
Batshaw’s Hidden in Plain Sight began this historical fiction series set in 20th century Greece. Light and Shadows is a strong sequel to that compelling book also featuring love, courage, and defiance against overwhelming odds. At the heart of both books is family. The unique traditions of the people of Greece add layers to the story as we see the characters struggle through the traumatic events in their lives against the backdrop of history.
Among those present at the event was Marcia Ikonomopoulos, Museum Director of Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum.
The Bookclub’s president Jeannie Kouros thanked the sponsors, the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity for their continued support and making the Cathedral a home to all. She also expressed a heartfelt thank you to Chef Maria Petridis, owner of Maria’s Mediterranean Restaurant in Bayside and Chopped champion, who supplied the delicious food and drinks for all the guests.