Aegan Sun

Aegean Sun: The Kafenion

by Stephanie Wood
Setting: Greece
Published on April 6, 2021
Pages: 208
Format: eBook

The Kafenion has much more to offer than just coffee and cake!
The Kafenion is undergoing its regular seasonal change from traditional coffee shop and local hangout to summertime hotspot for the massive influx of tourists who visit the Greek island each year.
The furniture has been updated, the new signs for more specific coffee types have been installed, the basic cookies have been replaced with a tempting range of cakes and desserts and a fresh coat of paint has added an optimistic glow to the place, which always attracts the many visitors who are looking for a treat.
Jane has been working on the island for a few years and finds a job in the kafenion for her friend Helen, who is hoping for some fun and romance during the summer.
Xenon and Kyriakos both make regular deliveries of fresh produce to the kafenion and they find other reasons to want to visit when Jane and Helen are around, but are they both interested in the same girl?
Georgina discovers the kafenion while searching for information from her mother’s past, but does Pericles have all the answers or will he just cause more confusion?
Visit the kafenion during a Greek summer season to see how the staff and their regulars navigate their way through complex working and romantic relationships.This is the eleventh book of standalone reads in the Aegean Sun series.

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This is a standalone book in a long-running series about a Greek island called Kos that is a summer tourist destination. A kafenion is a small coffee shop. The owners of this kafenion previously ran a hotel and have downsized to this property for this summer season. They hire British tourists who are coming to the island for the summer to work and are aiming for a mostly tourist client base during the season.

I liked the idea of reading about life in this setting and the conflicts between people who live here year round and the tourists who flood the island in the summer. The complication with this book is that a lot of the characters are pretty awful people. That can be an interesting dynamic to explore but it was a bit frustrating here.

I felt bad for Maria, the female owner of the cafe. She is trying hard to make this new business work. Her husband doesn’t like the tourists and wants the cafe to stay the domain of his buddies like it was in the off-season. He also spends most of his time sexually harassing the employees and telling them about how it is his right to be unfaithful to his wife but she can’t do the same. He’s horrible.

He isn’t the only Greek man portrayed this way. There is another man who is romantically pursing the daughter of a woman he was friends with as a teenager. It is a bit creepy.

Helen, the British tourist who is working at the kafenion, is a party girl who is mostly interested in having a holiday fling so she evaluates everyone she meets based on whether or not she wants to sleep with him. I did actually appreciate her arc. She showed a bit of growth as a person over the course of a season.

I would have liked to see more of Maria and the running of the cafe. I thought she was the most interesting character and I was rooting for her to overcome all the obstacles in her way.