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Once We Were Here

A Novel


As World War II intrudes upon their home, three young friends risk everything for freedom, love, and a chance at a better life.

On October 28, 1940, Mussolini provides Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas with an ultimatum: either allow Axis forces to occupy their country, or face war, and Greece’s response is swift. “Oxi!” they say. “No!”

In a small village nestled against the radiant waters of the Aegean Sea, we find Alexei, the son of a local fisherman, and his best friend Costa, who were both born on the same night eighteen years earlier and have been like brothers ever since, though now, like all the other young men in their village and throughout Greece, they will leave their homes to bravely fight for their country.

But before they go, Alexei asks Philia, the girl that he’s loved his entire life, to marry him, which sets into motion the events which will change the lives of these three and their family and friends forever, and begins an epic and unforgettable story of courage, survival, sacrifice, and the strength of the human spirit, and a love and friendship that will echo across time and generations.

Once We Were Here introduces the reader not only to the heart-pounding dangers and horrors of war, but also to the heart-breaking emotions and sacrifices of those who fight and whose lives war intrudes upon.

A spellbinding novel and sweeping epic that performs the remarkable feat of creating action-packed scenes, characters that we care deeply about, and revealing in vivid detail the untold story of how Greece helped the Allies to win World War II, and the brave men and women who fought for their country, for each other, and for freedom.

  • Publisher: Arcade (October 20, 2020)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510757134

"Winston Churchill said that Greeks don't fight like heroes, but heroes fight like Greeks, and this story proves it; a stunning literary debut about legacy and history, war and peace, fate and destiny, the power of family and stories, and how young love can still shine and endure, even in the face of the greatest evils, and long after we're gone."

Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire and The Legend of Bagger Vance