When Snow Fell on the Lemon Tree Blossoms
by Leonidas Petrakis
The book—a fictional memoir—is a young Greek boy’s journal for the seven-year period, 1939 to 1946, before World War II, and during the Nazi Occupation and the subsequent Civil War. The young boy is the son of a distinguished provincial family, the dignity and discord of which are a microcosm of the Greek society of that time. The young Peloponnesian records a unique period of time: sweet and carefree just before the War, despite the anguished cries from the rest of Europe; heroic in 1940-41 and during the Resistance against foreign and homegrown tormentors; nightmarish during the German Occupation and the subsequent fratricidal conflict. Under these circumstances he matures early. His first kaleidoscopic writings mirror his childhood innocence. But above all, the young boy’s chronicle is an account of human endurance and renewal.
“This unique tale of the anguish of World War II in Greece and the Civil War that followed it, seen through the eyes of a young Spartan boy, is one of the most moving books on Greece that I have ever read.”
—Ronald Stroud, Professor (Emeritus), University of California, Berkeley