Rural Cyprus, 1925. Despo is recently married, heavily pregnant and deeply afraid. The twelve days of Christmas are beginning – the time when, according to local folklore, creatures known as kalikantzari come up from Hell to wreak havoc. Meanwhile, her husband Loukas has troubles of his own. Struggling with dreams and desires he doesn’t understand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to an Englishman, a newcomer to the island.
In a village wreathed in superstition, Despo and Loukas must protect themselves and their unborn child from ominous forces at play.
‘Rich, resonant and beautifully paced.’ — Attitude
‘Loizou paints a vivid picture of the landscape and the tight knit community… A captivating story.’ — Mechanics’ Institute Review
Frequently shot through with a consistently believable sense of dread and terror, A Good Year is a haunting story about subjectivity and the ways in which fear and superstition affect our perception of events… A Good Year not only revels in the generative power of storytelling and narrative perception, but demonstrates how effective a multiform story can be. — The Publishing Post
‘This is a small book but an absolute gem. It’s a simple tale that tells of complex beliefs, fears and emotions in a language that is beautiful and lyrical. This book is a must for readers who are interested in folklore and superstition, in the history of Cyprus and its people, or who just enjoy reading a beautifully written book about a very different place and time. Highly recommended.’ — Historical Novel Review
‘With beautifully paced, rich prose, Loizou conjures the heady sights, sounds and smells of Cyprus, while exposing the horror that resides in her superstitions and traditions.’ — Lucie McKnight Hardy, author of Water Shall Refuse Them
‘A story of illicit passion wrapped in a Cypriot folk tale, A Good Year is spellbinding from start to finish, and confirms Polis Loizou as one of our boldest young writers. Evocative and resonant beyond its final page.’ — Dan Coxon, author of Only The Broken Remain and editor of This Dreaming Isle
‘A Good Year is an intense and harrowing folk-horror novella, set in the wilds of rural Cyprus—a beautifully crafted meditation on the light and shade of the human psyche, twisted out of shape by isolation, religious dogma and tradition. Loizou explores one of the darkest of human fears—that of being ourselves. This tale is full of gargoyles and grotesques and is written in an addictively stylish prose that remains in the mind long after reading the last sentence. The power of Loizou’s ornate storytelling in this third book should not be underestimated; he’s only just getting started.’ — Justin David, author of The Pharmacist