The Figurine

When Helena inherits her grandparents’ apartment in Athens, she is overwhelmed with memories of the summers she spent there as a child, when Greece was under a brutal military dictatorship. Her remote, cruel grandfather was one of the regime’s generals and as she sifts through the dusty rooms, Helena discovers an array of valuable objects and antiquities. How did her grandfather amass such a trove? What human price was paid for them?

Helena’s desire to find answers about her heritage dovetails with a growing curiosity for archaeology, ignited by a summer spent with volunteers on a dig on an Aegean island. Their finds fuel her determination to protect the precious fragments recovered from the baked earth – and to understand the origins of her grandfather’s collection.

Helena’s attempt to make amends for some of her grandfather’s actions sees her wrestle with the meaning of ‘home’, both in relation to looted objects of antiquity … and herself.

The Figurine is available to pre-order now


If anything can restore your joie de vivre, it’s Strictly!

If anything can restore your joie de vivre, it's Strictly!
As Annabel Croft takes to the dance floor five months after her husband's death, her friend VICTORIA HISLOP reveals why the ballroom could be the thing to distract her from devastating heartache by Victoria Hislop for the Daily Mail Her grief was all too apparent. 'It's been a terrible, terrible time,' said Annabel Croft recently, reflecting on the five months that have passed since the death of her beloved husband, Mel Coleman, aged 60, just weeks after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.
'There's not been a day I haven't cried.'
Along with mutual friends, I had the pleasure of spending some happy New Year's Eves with lovely Annabel and Mel. He was wonderful.
So I can absolutely see why Annabel has signed up to compete in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. Because, while there's no magic bullet to cure heartache, no secret medicine that erases life's troubles and restores a lost sense of joie de vivre, Strictly is one thing on the planet that may help distract Annabel from her immeasurable loss.
I discovered this myself when, in 2021, while in painful rehabilitation from breast cancer surgery, I was offered the chance to appear on the Greek version of Strictly, known there as Dancing With The Stars.
When I was asked, at first I hesitated. I was so low, I could barely get out of bed. I had scars from my operation. I ached all over. I felt nearer 90 than 60. But after giving myself a good talking to, I agreed — and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Undoubtedly, there were hard moments — like when I was criticised by the judges and told to be sexier, more 'out there'. Somehow, I always refrained from yelling back: 'Hey guys! I'm doing my best. I'm 62 and arthritic! My left arm is restricted because of surgery! Give me a break!'
But I overcame it all. I didn't just survive on Strictly — I thrived. So I will be watching dear Annabel and rooting for her. And also for Strictly professional dancer Amy Dowden, who ... Read the full article

No dancing around ownership: The British Museum should hand back the Elgin Marbles

No dancing around ownership: The British Museum should hand back the Elgin Marbles
from the Daily Express Having become a household name in Greece thanks to her bestselling books and recent appearance on the local version of Strictly Come Dancing, Victoria Hislop is convinced the British Museum should hand back the contentious sculptures. As she publishes her timely new novel, she explains why. Have I Got News For You stalwart Ian Hislop may be a national treasure in the UK for his sardonic sideswipes at power, but in Greece it is his wife Victoria who is the star. And if the best-selling novelist and Hellenophile wasn’t already familiar for her ardent support of her adopted country’s heritage, she certainly is now. Her recent appearance on the Greek equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing has helped turn her into a household name. “On Greek TV and radio I was already a ‘rent-a-Greek-speaker’ on all topics. The Greeks enjoy having the support of the British and are very pleased to have voices from Britain,” explains Victoria, 63. “I come and go all the time, usually for work, but with the TV show I was here for three months. I got about halfway through.” Her favourite dance was the salsa. “No competition,” she laughs. “I love Latin dance and I had done a few salsa lessons in the past, although there are never enough chaps. Ian’s no good because although he’s a great dad dancer at parties, he doesn’t like to follow all the rules of ballroom dancing.”
But formal dancing technique is not the only subject under discussion in the Hislop household. A much more thorny topic is that of the contentious Elgin Marbles, named after Lord Elgin, the British aristocrat. He was responsible for shipping some of the greatest treasures of antiquity to England – statues of Greek gods and carved frieze panels that once decorated the Parthenon in Athens. They have been on display in the Duveen Gallery at the British Museum since the early 1800s. “I’ve often upset Greek audiences at my book events by not unrolling a Greek flag and promising to bring them back myself,” says Victoria, who recently attained ... Read the full article

The Cretian Narrator

The Cretian Narrator
A fervent lover of Crete island, she writes through the ink of compassion combining her zeal of anything Greek with the strong awareness of sensitive social topics. In her first book of children, she narrates a different tale for the age of innocence. (Interview by Vivian Vourtsa, Elounda) What kind of skills you mastered while writing “Maria’s Island”? You have to be straightforward with children. They are curious, ask questions and demand answers, the truth. So, you should never write “down” to children. They deserve your best writing too. What characteristics a book about stigma should have? In the case of “The Island”, which I adapted for children, the stigma of course is leprosy itself, which has caused people to be shunned for many millennia. But children relate that to themselves and their own situation – they know what it is to be left out in the playground, and how children are often quite cruel to each other (no less than adults) and aware if someone is different in some way. I think teachers – and education - in the 21st century show us more clearly how to incorporate social issues into classroom. But I hope books such as “Maria’s Island” can contribute to this. Recreating “The Island” for children after 16 years did it feel like living it all again? The Island has been with me almost every day in some way, since it first came out in 2006! So, I think I live it almost every day: I am currently working on the development of an international version for television. Recently, it came out as a graphic novel in French and I am discussing it with a theatre producer for a possible stage production, while it continues to be published in several dozen languages. And my involvement with Lepra – the philanthropic organization that helps people who have leprosy (still a few million mostly in India and Bangladesh) is ongoing. Gill Smith’s rich illustrations offered shape and colors to our imagination. Did they meet your own imagination about Maria and her environment? Yes! Very much. I think her ... Read the full article


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Book cover for Maria's Island

Maria’s Island

A dramatic and moving story set in the same world as the international bestseller The Island from the celebrated novelist Victoria Hislop.

The absorbing story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leprosy colony – is told to us by Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version of The Island. She tells us of the ancient and misunderstood disease of leprosy, exploring the themes of stigma, shame and the treatment of those who are different, which are as relevant for children as adults. Gill Smith’s rich, full-colour illustrations will transport the reader to the timeless and beautiful Greek landscape and Mediterranean seascape.

“The idea came out of a conversation with some school teachers in Crete.” said Victoria “They commented that there were so many themes in the story that were as relevant to children as to adults but felt that the original novel was a little too grown-up for many of them. I realised that much of the book is actually about children and their experiences of stigma and loss, so this has been a wonderful experience for me, to look at things through their eyes. Writing for children requires a whole different set of skills and I hope they will enjoy reading it.”

Buy Maria’s Island  : | Waterstones | Foyles | WH Smith | Amazon

Praise for Maria’s Island

The tale is narrated by Maria, one of the children in Hislop’s novel The Island, from which this engrossing yarn is skillfully adapted for younger readers.
― The Daily Telegraph

Sometimes poignant but never upsetting, this book highlights the strength of love, friendship and resilience over adversity. Complemented wonderfully by Gill Smith’s beautiful illustrations, this is an ideal book for older early readers who are ready explore more complex themes associated such as coping with adversity and having respect for others who may be different from themselves.
– Gazette Herald Books of the Month

I picked this book up as soon as it arrived and couldn’t put it down. My favourite things were the Greek setting and the history in the story, and I loved that the character was called Anna – best name ever! I didn’t know much about this story before I read it and enjoyed finding out about the adventures. I would recommend it to my friends. I liked the illustrations too.
— Anna, Age 11 ― Toppsta

“…a powerful story about love, stigma and hope.”
– Mini Travellers

Victoria on Facebook

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1 day ago

It's been a joy to see copie#thefigurineurinVictoria Hislopislop landing in readers hands!

Comment with a picture of where you've been reading your copy, whether it's a beach or an armchair!

If you don't have your copy yet, get it here:
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Its been a joy to see copies of #TheFigurine by Victoria Hislop landing in readers hands!

Comment with a picture of where youve been reading your copy, whether its a beach or an armchair!

If you dont have your copy yet, get it here:

11 CommentsComment on Facebook

Just arrived today will be reading it in bed later tonight, can’t wait to start it. Any idea as to when will be published in Greek? Have to buy it for my mum as well 📖

Waiting for it to come in to the shop

Awaiting my signed copy…. Hopefully tomorrow!!!!

The Hague The Netherlands

Just started the book in my favourite chair at home. Just 3 days returned from my beloved Greece and much loved friends! So let's start this journey!

Waiting to be published in Greek!!!

Mine is by my bedside……

Finished it now, brilliant book

Vivement la sortie en France

Claire Johnson Your new copy arrived safely.

Can u tell me please , where I can watch postales carted

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2 days ago

Ever wondered how Victoria Hislop finds her inspiration? We asked her - here's what she had to say a#thefigurineurine... ... See MoreSee Less

6 CommentsComment on Facebook



I have ordered the book 📖..xx

Great review. Look forward to receiving my copy

Sue Cole

'a sensitivity that reveals her deep knowledge of ... the human condition'. i am struggling to reconcile this claim with the idea of a daily mail writer who is married to ian hislop

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3 days ago

Join Victoria at The Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on Wednesday 18th October (12pm) where she will be in conversation with Catherine Larner at this special lunchtime event to introduce her latest novel, THE FIGURINE – which shines a light on the questionable acquisition of cultural treasures and the price people, and countries, will pay to cling on to them.

🌿 Tickets:
... See MoreSee Less

Join Victoria at The Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on Wednesday 18th October (12pm) where she will be in conversation with Catherine Larner at this special lunchtime event to introduce her latest novel, THE FIGURINE – which shines a light on the questionable acquisition of cultural treasures and the price people, and countries, will pay to cling on to them. 

🌿 Tickets:

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Any of my friends VH fans?

3 days ago

There's still time to secure tickets to see Victoria atBooka Bookshopkshop hosted evenThe Holroyd Community Theatreeatre in Oswestry on Wednesday 4th October (7.30pm).

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Theres still time to secure tickets to see Victoria at the Booka Bookshop hosted event at The Holroyd Community Theatre in Oswestry on Wednesday 4th October (7.30pm). 


2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Looking forward to seeing you again on Wednesday 😊

Victoria, you could make a shopping list interesting. I really look forward to reading all the books, especially enjoying the Greek themed ones, but can't wait to read this latest one. The style and quality of writing has to be applauded. Thank you

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