Murder and Mayhem

History never really says goodbye. History says, see you later.” Eduardo Galeano   

“There were always feuds and misunderstandings in our family,” my father said this week out of the blue. I’ve heard similar words in the past.

“And murder.”

“What do you mean?”

“Even in a family, not everyone gets along. There can be disappointments, arguments and mayhem.”

“Yes, but murder?”

“I don’t know too much because I never met my grandparents or great-grandparents. I never knew anyone in my extended family.”

And yet through coincidental encounters, we’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of our extended family, first in the United States, then in my grandfather’s ancestral home in Kyparissia. It’s these encounters and words such as murder, vendetta, and we were told never to talk about how your great grandfather died, uttered in many conversations that sent me, a fiction writer, on the journey to discover what happened in my family.

What I learned provided an outline for my new novel. Too many have gone now and along with them, the truth, or at least their version of it. So anything I couldn’t find, I made up. Who knows what else I’ll discover. Still, the way in which family history plays its way back into our lives continues to fascinate me. I love the fact that none of us can truly outrun it.

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