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A biography of Mary Cotsis, centered around her World War Two experiences as she escapes the Nazi occupation of Greece and travels to America to begin a new life. Illustrated with period photographs.

REVIEWS

"I had the privilege of reading [this] memoir. I was so impressed by the clarity of thought and the many details... What a life you've had! I thoroughly enjoyed [this] book." —Phyllis G., Hawthorne, NJ

"This true story is both amazing and inspiring! This book gives us the view of (a young girl) who lived through [WWII.] Her escape from Greece as the Nazi's marched in, and her incredible journey by land and sea ... is gripping. Surely this is material for a Hollywood blockbuster but don't wait.... it's a great read!"
—Born to Run, amazon.com

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... For me, aside from being named Bonzo, the biggest intervention of destiny was in April 1941. The Nazis swept through northern Greece and were relentlessly marching on Athens. It was time to go.

I grew up in the 1930s, in a tiny suburb a few miles from Athens, less than five miles from the Acropolis. My neighborhood! The would-be King of Greece, Prince Paul, lived up the street. A Greek version of Mussolini, Ioannis Metaxas, dictator of the land, lived a couple of neighborhoods away in Kifisia. He was a pleasant enough roly-poly man who would visit my father on a regular basis, and we would often visit his home. I used to sit on his lap as a child, and his wife made a truly delicious moussaka. I can still smell it to this day, just coming out of the oven on a warm Greek evening. My own father was the deputy finance minister to the government, a towering man of six feet, four inches. And he was a ladies man to be sure; but to me he was strict, stern, and sometimes, a downright mean father. His name could have easily been Zeus, but it was not.

He was Andreas.

Imarmeni. Destiny. If she was a goddess, even a minor goddess, (as my mother steadfastly insisted) she grew up in the golden age of Greece, or even before that, in Homer’s world—if she did grow up at all—and didn’t spring forth out of some ancient, sacred fountain. No doubt she would have been related to Clotho, Lacheis and Atropos, the three sisters of the fates. I wouldn’t call my children any of these names. To be fair, neither did Zeus. He is said to have been afraid of them, for the Fates ruled even the Gods. Some legends say they were daughters of “Necessity,” the truly ancient Goddess Ananka. Some legends put Zeus as their father (isn’t he always?) Others say not. Some say Aphrodite was the eldest sister of the Fates, though that connection seems tenuous.
My own family history is almost as complicated as all that, like some ancient Greek drama played out on Mount Olympus—but not quite!

 

click for an excerpt!