Friday, December 17, 2021

Guest Book Review: An Accidental Odyssey

By Marisa Appleton

An Accidental Odyssey follows bride-to-be, Gianna, and her estranged father as they embark on a life-altering adventure to retrace Odysseus’ famous voyage across the Mediterranean.

Recent college graduate and aspiring journalist Gianna Kostas is on her way to building the perfect life. She is set to marry one of New York’s most eligible bachelors—and one of the richest—and is sure to have a fairy tale wedding. However, Gia’s fairy tale fantasy starts to unravel when she finishes her internship at her dream job with no more career prospects. A sudden change in Gia’s plans causes her to rethink her relationship she receives an alarming phone call from the hospital, letting her know that her father has suffered a heart attack. Even worse, he is determined to run off to Greece despite his condition and retrace the journey Odysseus made in The Odyssey.

When her father disappears from the hospital without his medication, Gia is follows him to Athens. After an argument with her fiancĂ© and a life-changing encounter with a stranger, she realises that staying in Greece might be a good idea after all. She knows her father is in no condition to take this journey alone, and this may just be the opportunity she needs to get to know him and potentially secure her career as a journalist. But as Gia adventures—and eats—her way around the Mediterranean, she discovers that confronting demons, relationship problems, and gorgeous archaeologists might be the easy part.

This novel by kc dyer is a story of love, heartbreak, and, surprisingly, psychedelic drugs! When we first meet Gianna Kostas, she is packing up her desk after finishing her internship at NOSH magazine. Having no prospects of a full time, permanent job is not ideal but not to worry – she is engaged to a super-rich bachelor! There is one red flag though, Anthony seems a bit more excited for the wedding than Gia. As a reader this stuck out to me, why was Gia not excited for the wedding? Why was Anthony desperate to seal the deal and get married so quickly? Why did Gia’s best friend Desi not support their engagement? When she finds out her father, Ari Kostas, has suffered a minor stroke she is panicked. Ari – a very traditional, very proud Greek man – is a historian obsessed with rediscovering his roots by recreating Odysseus’ journey around the Mediterranean. When he disappears from the hospital heading straight to Athens, Gia follows, not expecting a life changing journey. From the get-go we learn that Gia’s best friend does not approve of the suspiciously fast engagement. These red flags keep coming, especially when Anthony calls off the engagement because Gia followed her father to Greece. As a reader, we can make our own judgement about Gia and Anthony’s relationship and whether we should be rooting for them to work it out or for the hot archaeologist to win her over!

The story was such a pleasant easy read, perfect to escape these dark winter nights with lively descriptions of sunny Greece and Italy. I really like how each chapter starts with part of blog entry – often containing mouth-watering descriptions of the Mediterranean cuisine. It really ties the story together with Gia’s career aims a more central focus than her impending marriage to Anthony. Following one night of passion while herself and Anthony are technically broken up, she finds herself face to face with the hot architect every day! Coincidentally, Dr. Raj Malik works alongside Gia’s dad Ari, and she is forced to relive her night of passion and face up to her relationship problems. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this story, it provides the perfect amount of escapism, transporting you to a summer of food, love, and family! 

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Marisa Appleton lives in Sheffield, England. She is currently studying an English Literature Degree at Sheffield Hallam University while also working in a supermarket part time. When she is not reading for university, she is reading for pleasure. Aside from that she enjoys working out, eating out and travelling with her friends. One day, she aspires to work in the Publishing or Marketing industry in London.

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