“My darling, never forget - when something has been patched up, it can’t be undone. Doesn’t it look like new, though? Patchwork is a real art.” “But what does patchwork actually mean? And why don’t you just by something new? It’s not that you don’t have the money” wondered Nora. “Patchwork is the mending of something that has broken but that you don’t want to part with or you can’t part with. Patchwork is an art, my darling. It is a gift - to be able to change something that is old or faulty and to turn it into something that you will like again.” Nora, baptized Eleonora, the illegitimate daughter of Michael Chiotellis, learns the art of patchwork in her father’s home in Mytilene around the beginning of the 1800s. She doesn’t patch her clothes, however. What she does is try to patch her sorrowful life, beginning with her name for, as an illegitimate child, she has no surname. Her gift will help her survive the difficulties plaguing the island and upsetting her life; to deal with the people who hurt her - foremost her brother; to give herself to love without taking into account any rules of moral and integrity; and to finally obtain that which she most yearned for: an identity. Every patch, however, comes with a price. And Nora pays for all of them - all thirteen. For that is how many she must do…
By Penelope Kourtzi. 320 pages. Paperback. Imported. Psichogios publications.