BENEATH THE CYPRESS TREE
In the summer of 1935 Kate Shelton, Ella Tetley and Daphne St.Maur graduate with Classics degrees from Oxford University. Kate is eager to start work on an archaeological dig straight away and her brother Kit, a director at the famous Knossos palace site in Crete, offers her a position there. However, Kate doesn’t bargain for being under the tutelage of brusque site director Lewis Sinclair, or for her complex feelings towards him. In Yorkshire, Ella’s family hope she will marry Sam, who is training to be a doctor, but Ella is also pulled to the Mediterranean by the promise of independence and when she meets Christos Kourakis at the dig, life as a GP’s wife becomes less appealing. Daphne throws herself into London high society, falling in love with diplomat Sholto Hertford and when Sholto’s work brings them to Crete her life becomes as entwined with the island as theirs. All the while there are threats of war as reports of Hitler’s rapid expansion across Europe become impossible to ignore and when, with great savagery, war engulfs Crete it turns friends into enemies and lovers into fighters.