Evanthia’s Gift by Effie Kammenou

I was hooked on this book from the very beginning. The narrator instantly brought the story to life. Which was very easy to do considering how well crafted this book was. The characters are vivid enough to picture each of them in my mind. Whether the reader has Greek heritage or not, everyone will be able to relate to the family drama. However, the author did a nice job of sharing about the Greek culture without sounding like a travel brochure or a lecture. At times, I found myself talking to the characters in my head even when I wasn’t listening to the book. In looking at the book, I think the different character voices made it a little easier to understand the multiple POVs. I really didn’t want this one to end.

The narration felt perfect for this story. The narrator did a good job a varying the voices enough to keep everyone separate.


This Greek American family saga follows a multigenerational story of love, loyalty, and culture. An emotional novel about family bonds and the difficult pull between home and heritage.
In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets – ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.
The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean,
who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.
EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.



Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she’d thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category. Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.



Emily is an actor and writer passionate about bringing stories to life. Her greatest strength as a performer is her ability to bring herself to the role, creating a wide range of emotionally resonant performances that leap off the page, stage, or screen. Her favorite characters are complicated, conflicted, and still searching for their inner truths. Emily’s passion for her work is complemented by her persistence, resilience, and inexhaustible work ethic. She’s narrated more than 160 audiobooks, half of which were USA Today or New York Times bestsellers, and has also worked in film, television, and theater. Born and raised in New York, Emily moved to Los Angeles shortly after receiving her BFA in drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also had the privilege of living in London while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Emily’s greatest loves are acting and reading, so narrating audiobooks is a dream come true. Her other passions include traveling, LARPing, aerial circus, and chocolate.





  1. Thank you Terri for a great review. I’m elated that you enjoyed the book and connected to the characters.

    Thanks to all who showed interest on this thread. Whether you read or listen, I hope you enjoy it. It took me a long time to find the narrator that could do justice to my story. She rose to the challenge with the Greek accents and words I sprinkled throughout the book. Emily Lawrence did a fantastic job.

    Terri, if I might impose on you to post this review on audible, it would be so appreciated. The audio has only been out since December 1, 2017. I haven’t garnered reviews on that site yet. Thank you! Have a Happy New Year everyone.

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