Reviews of book by Eve Makis

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Reviews of: The Spice Box Letters


I would advise buying a packet of tissues before you start reading this extraordinary novel which depicts the human cost of war. The novel is peppered with vividly evoked scenes of the physical, emotional and mental trauma that many Armenian families went through during the massacre of their people in WWI......

Read more on the Pam Reader website here.


Fans of Victoria Hislop’s prose or Khaled Hosseini’s storytelling will love The Spice Box Letters, for Eve Makis’s latest novel is remarkable. It deserves to be an international bestseller and I have no doubt it will pick up an award or three. Beautifully written with inventive structure, compelling characters, historical horrors and natural humour, it’s a rich feast.....

Read more of the review by NottsLit here

Left Lion

The Spice Box Letters in Greek

Reviews of: Land of the Golden Apple

Liz Broomfield

Makis does it again, with an absorbing, elegantly plotted and excellently-peopled slice of life in 1980s Cyprus. Young Socrates leads a life of unalloyed pleasure, out making fireworks and causing havoc with his two best friends, all their exciting posessions stashed in the shed of gentle Andrico, the town simple man. But darkness clouds their carefree lives, Marco's dad's violences gets worse and worse, and there's a crime committed that sends shockwaves - and waves of gossip - through the village. The characters are so well observed and really come alive, even more secondary characters like Petri, wide boy army lad in his John Travolta suit, and Kyriacos, owner of a dodgy arcade and full of plots to lure widows. Both of these chaps are seen as real, complex people with choices to make for good or for bad. The scene is set beautifully too, with sounds and smells mixing with sights to produce a really evocative background. I think this may be her best work so far!

The Big Issue

Spring descends upon a small Cypriot village and young Socrates is looking forward to spending long balmy days with his friends. Little does he know though, that under the gloss of his idyllic surroundings lurks deceit, danger and menace, ready to turn his world upside down.

Good Housekeeping

Rich with the colour and atmosphere of a small Cypriot village, this gutsy tale starts with the misbehaviour of a boy and his mother's attempts to rein him in. When he oversteps youthful fun with a potentially deadly prank, the spotlight falls briefly on him before illuminating a more adult and disturbing crime set to shake the community. Makis translates the darker side of domestic, small-town life into engaging, vibrant prose.

The Bookseller

Mischievous boys in a small Greek Cypriot village have their summer disrupted by the dark cloud of paedophilia. This is terrific in sense of place, the portrait of the boys and the machinations of village life. A lovely read.

Reviews of: The Mother in Law


A whole cacophany of characters from different cultures crowd into this warm and funny novel... A lovely book, rich with snapshots of Cypriot history and culture and an excellent observation of how different families communicate.

Nottingham Evening Post

Makis's storytelling never fails to charm

John Russell (broadcaster and book reviewer)

The Mother-in-Law in this second novel by Eve Makis, is the central and all-pervading figure in a dysfunctional family. The story of how her own failed marriage has a disasterous effect on her relationships with her own children and foreign daughter-in-law is keenly observed by an author, who also manages to capture in her characters the essential differences between two island races.

What I found found satisfying in the author's writing, was the way in which the novel shifted from the initial mood set in the first chapters, to a deeper and engrossing story of believable characters who retain their national traits, even when they are far away from home. Here is a slightly different spin on an old phrase. you can take the Cypriot out of Cyprus but you cannot take Cyprus out of the Cypriot. The author now lives in Nottingham with her Cypriot husband, but has never forgotten her roots and the contemporary history which has affected her own feelings about the division of the island.
Cyprus, with its small population has always had a disproportionate number of very talented artists. Painters, sculptors, musicians and dancers, have all captured something of this warm island in their work. Now, in Eve Makis, the island has produced a skilled and observant novelist. Having read The Mother-in-Law, I look forward to catching up on her first novel Eat, Drink and Be Married as well as many more books still to be written.


Vivacious Greek girl Electra and reserved Englishman Adam are chalk and cheese on paper. Nevertheless, their bond is unbreakable - until his mother arrives on the scene. With sizeable pinches of love, tragedy and humour, this is deliciously satisfying.

The Bookseller

A darkly funny novel about interference, Alzheimer's, Greek Cypriot warmth and several misunderstandings.

Good Housekeeping

Engaging, delicately observed and believable story of a young couple's struggle to stay together after his acid mother moves in with them to recuperate from an accident.

Reviews of: Eat Drink and be Married

Waitrose Food Illustrated

...Interspersed throughout the story are the traditional Cypriot recipes of Anna's grandmother, as well as her recollections of a turbulent past in Cyprus where food played a central role in family life. The result is a funny and warm-hearted account of cross cultural experience.


Makis's life experience has contributed to the texture of the novel. This is definitely no cheap piece of chick lit...

Western Daily Press ****

This is a laugh-out-loud tale of a Greek Cypriot family on a council estate in 1980's Nottingham. Anna's domineering mother thinks all Anna need do is cook well, wear frilly blouses and keep out of trouble for a nice, suitable Greek Cypriot husband. Only Anna's wise old grandmother Yiayia, who reads coffee grounds and practises magic, seems to understand her. Through Yiayia, Anna discovers secrets that have shaped her family. Makis overcomes problems inherent in stereotypical characters to produce a delightful, heart-warming read.

Nottingham Evening Post

Anna makes for an instantly engaging narrator, with Makis' personable, present tense prose irresistibly drawing readers straight to the heart of her story, with its cast of beautifully observed characters. Makis' publishers. - Black Swan - are well-known for having discovered high-profile authors like Monica Ali and Kate Atkinson and, as Makis takes us behind the scenes at the chip shop, her voice proves every bit as original and delightful as theirs. This is a novel of irresistible good humour and like the Greek Cypriot recipes, that are peppered throughout, is a real treat to savour.

The Bookseller

This book looks as charming as its content. This is an exploration of a Greek Cypriot community in the 1980's. It tackles the cultural differences and the generation gap, but it is also a humorous mother/daughter tale, delightfully told.

Waterstones Magazine

...Torn between family bonds and stubborn idea about right and wrong three generations of women unfold a family saga through tales of love, war, courage and the help of a little kitchen table magic. Eve Makis's poetic and humane vision of life turns tragedy into comedy.

Narinder Dhami (author of Bend It Like Beckham)

Heartwarming, funny, tragic and uplifting...the story has a feel good factor to equal My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Daily Express - Terrie Thackeray ****

Author Eve Makis writes with authority as, like her heroine, she too grew up in an English takeaway run by her Cypriot parents. The novel benefits from her first-hand knowledge of their native country and its traditions. Her evocative descriptions of the landscape and its jasmine-infused air, which make you understand why her family hold their memories so dear, contrast sharply with the images of the ugly, concrete council estate where they now work.

But the clever balance between heart-warming comic moments and events with dark undertones is what I found most intriguing. The comic rough and tumble of family life is countered by the racism and violence they face. Makis writes with great sensitivity on the issues of arranged marriages, family secrets and even rape. Her observations are consistently sharp and keep you engaged to the uplifting conclusion.


An easy-to-digest and highly enjoyable read.


Latest news

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015 - long list

"The Spice Box Letters" has been long listed for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015. Visit the Jerwood Fiction uncovered website to find out more. ...

Added: 14:48 pm, 12th May 2015

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Armenian diaspora in Cyprus

Four years ago I decided to explore the Armenian diaspora in Cyprus and made my protagonists Armenian. In order to understand my characters I had to research their history and how they had come to set ...

Added: 16:09 pm, 6th May 2015

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Interview with Robin Lewis from the Left Lion ...

Added: 10:07 am, 6th May 2015

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Book giveaway


Added: 17:43 pm, 13th May 2015

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