Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A House in Corfu

A House in Corfu

A Family's Sojourn in Greece

Emma Tennant

Henry Holt and Co.




The story of an unspoiled island and an English family making a home by the Aegean Sea.

In the early 1960s Emma Tennant's parents, on a cruise, spotted a magical bay and decided to build a house there.

This book is the story of that house, Rovinia, set above the bay in Corfu where legend has it Ulysses was shipwrecked and found by Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous. It is also the story of the couple who have been at Rovinia since the feast in the grove that followed the roof-raising-Maria, a miraculous cook and the presiding spirit of the house, and her husband, Thodoros-and of the inhabitants of the local village, high on the hill above the bay.

Tennant offers us the delights of quotidian adventures-salt water in the well, roads to nowhere, collapsing walls-all hilariously presented. That the house is still lived in and loved, with new generations coming to understand the delights of Corfu, is a tribute to the people and a special landscape which is distinctly Greek. Full of color and contrast, A House in Corfu shows the huge changes in island life since the time of the Tennants' arrival, and celebrates, equally, the joy of belonging to a timeless world: the world of vine, olive, and sea.


A HOUSE IN CORFU (Chapter One)
Where are you planting this? Is it xorta--weed?' And the old woman laughs up at me, whipping her donkey on down the rocky path ahead before I have time to answer. I hear her call her greeting to the many--and invisible--other...


Praise for A House in Corfu

“Tennant describes the spirit of enjoying another culture more gently, less aggressively than Mayle or even Mayes. She floats through it more dreamily, leaving an even greater desire for some other place.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Exercise caution when reading this book-it's likely to induce a serious longing to hop on the next flight to Greece.” —Booklist

“A delightful memoir . . . [Tennant] eloquently renders the stark beauty of the landscape, the seductive, treacherous sea, the delicious cuisine.” —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Emma Tennant

Emma Tennant's previous books include Sylvia and Ted (0-8050-6675-6), The Bad Sister, Two Women of London, Faustine, Strangers: A Family Romance, Burnt Diaries, and Pemberley, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. She lived in London until her death in 2017.

Emma Tennant