When I moved back to the States after living on the island of Crete, Greece, I battled reverse culture shock by writing about my experiences as described in my Cretan Chronicles blog. I had started the blog when we moved to Crete in 2009 mostly to just let friends and family know what life was like on this Mediterranean island. 100 posts, thousands of photos later, and a world away from Crete, I put my reflections and stories onto the pages of a travel memoir.
UNIQUELY CRETE: Life Redefined on a Greek Island is now available on Amazon.
I’m honored and grateful. People are already starting to talk about this book! Check out these reviews:
“Whether the reader is a seasoned traveler or an armchair dreamer, the pages of Melanie Crane’s Uniquely Crete: Life Redefined on a Greek Island is nothing short of a magic carpet ride to the Mediterranean Sea. Upon arrival, I was taken into the very heart and soul of the history, lives and traditions of this most remarkable island.
From the dark days of Nazi occupation to spiritual moments within centuries-old monasteries, Melanie’s book opened the doors of Crete’s history for slow perusal. Page after page, I felt that I was actually living in Crete, a participant in the everyday life of her people and customs. If the story is about the annual harvest of grapes and olives (the very heartbeat of Crete), the joy of a wedding celebration or the holiness of Easter Sunday, Melanie’s eloquent prose stimulated my senses. I heard the clatter of farmer’s markets and the taste of Mother Nature’s bounty, fresh from the field, was a culinary adventure.
Most importantly, Melanie’s book gave me access to the homes of ordinary people of Crete – people who work hard, cherish life and always have time for friends, good food and conversation.
In the final words of her story, Melanie encourages her readers to meet life head on and, if given the opportunity, to explore our magnificent world. Her words resonate and demand a measure of self-analysis: “You can’t live your life to the fullest if you are paralyzed by the past or fearful of the future.”
Dale Lovin, Award winning author of Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time; The Mirror in the River; Waltzing with an Echo; Stars, Storms and the River of Life
“If you are a traveler, you’ll love this book. If you are not a traveler, you will want to become one. In this work, Melanie paints vivid landscapes of the Island of Crete from the stunning Mediterranean Sea to the deep mountainous villages. In each chapter, the author puts us in the thick of Cretan society with smells, foods, festivals, traditions and so much more. We are invited to travel with her as she moves through a land where she offers deep respect for the people and rich humor reflecting her attempts to speak their language and understand differences from her own cultural background. I was delighted with her accounts from cover to cover. I hope to travel with her in another literary adventure soon. I recommend you jump aboard for this adventure. You’ll be glad you did. And you will be as sad as I am to leave this remote part of the world.
Laura L. Padgett, Award winning author of Dolores, Like the River and Jesus in Shorts