When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

Source: TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins
Hardcover, 368 pages
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When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon melds the island tranquility of Greece’s Erikousa with the Greek Gods and Goddesses and whispering of the Cypress, creating a modern-day mythology.  Daphne is a modern woman, her heart heavy with the loss of her first husband and her struggles as a single mother rising to the top in New York City’s restaurant scene.  She comes back to her island home to have a traditional Greek wedding, despite her fiance Stephen’s misgivings about constrained traditions, and to reconnect with her Yia-yia (grandmother).

“In hushed, reverent tones, Yia-yia insisted that the cypresses had their own secret language that traveled between the trees on the gentle morning breeze and quieted down again as the afternoon stillness set in.”  (page 4-5 ARC)

The juxtaposition between Daphne’s American life of being always on the go and struggling to make time even for her daughter is clear once she returns to the island.  It is not that as a child life was so much more care-free (though it was), but life on the island is slower and more connected to family and tradition than it is in the business world and career-focused life Daphne was building for herself.  Evie, her daughter, was named for her great-grandmother, but she’s never met her or been to the island until now.  Corporon’s focus on Daphne brings together the family story as it shifts between her childhood, her time in America, and the present time with the wedding planning.  Tensions are increased as a mysterious man, Yianni, begins making assumptions about her and seems too close to her grandmother.  A WWII mystery is revealed and Daphne sees the error of her judgments and realizes that she may have more in common with this mystery man than she first expected.

When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon has it all — well-drawn characters, mythology and tradition, love and loss, and the power of family.  An emotional, heartfelt novel about the traditions and cultures that make us who we are and the dangers of committing halfway or only looking at the surface.

Photo credit Dia Dipasupil

About the Author:

Yvette Manessis Corporon is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and author. She is currently a senior producer with the syndicated entertainment news show Extra. In addition to her Emmy Award, Yvette has received a Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the New York City Comptroller and City Council’s Award for Greek Heritage and Culture. She is married to award-winning photojournalist David Corporon. They have two children and live in New York.

Find out more about Yvette at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.



7th book for 2014 European Reading Challenge; It is set in Greece.




20th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.




12th book for 2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.




9th book (WWII) for the 2014 War Challenge With a Twist.



Mailbox Monday #256

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has gone through a few incarnations from a permanent home with Marcia to a tour of other blogs.

Now, it has its own permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1. Nest. Flight. Sky: On Love and Loss, One Wing at a Time by Beth Kephart, purchased for Kindle with my Amazon gift card from Anna.

In Nest. Flight. Sky: On Love and Loss, One Wing at a Time, award-winning memoirist Beth Kephart returns to the form for the first time in years to reckon with the loss of her mother and a slow-growing but soon inescapable obsession with birds and flight. Kephart finds herself drawn to the startle of the winter finch, the quick pulse of hummingbirds, and the hungry circling of hawks. She discovers birds in the stories she tells and the novels she writes. She hunts for nests, she waits for song, she seeks the stories of bird artists, she waits. Nest. Flight. Sky. is about the love that endures and the hope that saves us. It’s about the gift of feathers.

2.  When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon for review from Harper.

On a beautiful Greek island, myths, magic, and a colorful cast of characters come together in When the Cypress Whispers, Yvette Manessis Corporon’s lushly atmospheric story about past and present, family and fate, love and dreams that poignantly captures the deep bond between an American woman and her Greek grandmother.

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Daphne aspires to the American Dream, yet feels as if she’s been sleepwalking through life. Caught between her family’s old-world traditions and the demands of a modern career, she cannot seem to find her place.

Only her beloved grandmother on Erikousa, a magical island off the coast of Greece, knows her heart. Daphne’s fondest memories are of times spent in the kitchen with Yia-yia, cooking and learning about the ancient myths. It was the thought of Yia-yia that consoled Daphne in the wake of her husband’s unexpected death.

What did you get in your mailbox? 

Also be sure to check the Mailbox Monday blog for the Books That Caught Our Eye feature and let us know what caught your attention.