An artist turns back to her roots and discovers they are not what she thought. Daughters of the Labyrinth is a contemporary story, for an era of instability, about love, loss and memory, parents and children, the fragility of life, and the forgotten Jews of Crete.
How well do you know your mother? Ri is an artist living between two cultures. Born on the Greek island of Crete, land of myth, ancient ruins and mass tourism, she has lived and worked in London most of her life. When her English husband dies in an accident and their daughter goes away to New York, she turns to her Cretan roots, only to discover they are filled with long-hidden secrets. Her parents were teenagers during the German occupation of Crete. Unearthing their stories, their layers of loss and changed identities, transforms her relationship to them and to herself.
Poignant, gripping and surprising, set in Crete and London in 2019-2020 against a backdrop of global uncertainty, Daughters of the Labyrinth explores the hold of the past on the present through three intertwining lives.
The novel is precise and contemporary, offering a poet's sense of immersion - a very present Britain and an ever-present past in Crete, both transformed by a beautiful imagination. The book is sunlit and love-drenched, magical and historical, surprising, elegant, and beautifully written. Ruth Padel's latest novel replenishes the heart. - Andrew O Hagan, author of Mayflies
Daughters of the Labyrinth is a novel about a daughter's passionate quest for the truth about what happened to her parents in Crete during the German occupation. It is also a sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete itself, its landscape and culture. Ruth Padel's brings a poet's eye to this world of great physical beauty and gnarled legacy - Colm Toibin