Just glancing through the pages of the book, I could see that it had something to do with the tragedy of 9/11. But in reality, it hardly did. The main story is far more intricate.
A girl is brutally raped while her brother is away hunting. The brother blames his friend for prompting him to go hunting, while his sister was sick and so he plans to take revenge. Not a small one, but one which would last long. Really long.
The story “Mine to Avenge” revolves around a family of Galanos, which is under a very weird kind of spell. All the male Galanos’ undergo a peculiar pattern in life. They grow up, get married, have kids, are extremely happy, and suddenly become exceptionally protective and paranoid about their wives and kids’ safety, and then one fine day, they simply disappear. No one knows why this happens, and so it is said that they suffer from some kind of mental illness.
One day, at a family get-together, the Galanos family comes across a strange little piece of paper. It uncovers a complex vendetta that the family of the raped girl had organized against the Galanos, understanding that it was the fault of the Galanos that the tragedy had occurred in their family. Alethea, one of the youngest Galanos’, and whose father also disappeared during the September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Centre, USA (commonly known as 9/11) and is considered dead, takes it upon herself to uncover the big picture behind this vendetta, until she finds that that the culprits are uncomfortably closely associated with the Galanos families. One has to really read the book to find out what eventually happens and I would not like to spoil it for you.
The most wonderful aspect about this book is the simple fact that it is so unpredictable. You could never know what twist the story might take, even till the very last page. I could not just put away the book once I started reading it. The narrative is so profound and picturesque that one can hardly choose against loving it. The story, at many places is narrated from the point of view of many people. This makes the story far more appealing. The only trouble is the fact that at times, it becomes repetitive and lengthy. But it is enchanting, nonetheless.
The men of the house receiving strange calls, acting odd and then ultimately disappearing is so incredibly similar to men of the house receiving weird letters, then going mad and ultimately dying as in the story “The Five Orange Pips” (Sherlock Holmes Adventure Story by A.C. Doyle). And the character Spyridon in “Mine to Avenge” is somehow distantly similar to Heathcliff of “Wuthering Heights”, especially in the sense that both men are so driven by task they want to accomplish, that family and happiness mean nothing to them and sons for both are just means to accomplish their aims and nothing more.
A very poignant tale. A must read, especially, if you have been a fan of those old intricate Hardy classics.
I wish I could get to spend a day in Spyridon’s library… just in case it held some books with some similar stories. Maybe. Just maybe..