REVIEW by Willard Manus
Numerous books have been published about life in Greece during World War Two, but few are as personal and powerful as AMERICAN KID: NAZI-OCCUPIED GREECE THROUGH A CHILDS EYES by Constance M. Constant.
KID focuses on a Greek-American mother and her three young children who
are living in Greece when WW II breaks out, trapping them there. Unique
circumstances had brought them to Greece (specifically the Peloponnesos).
Andrew, the patriarch of the family, had emigrated from Arcadia to New
England in the early part of the 20th century. He prospered sufficiently
enough as a chef to to be able to marry Katherine, a young Greek girl
on a visit to the USA. The Great Depression wrecked the fortunes of the
family, causing Andrew to make a fateful decision: he would send Katherine
and their three young children back to Greecetemporarily, of course.
They could live comfortably on the profits accruing from the citrus farm
he owned with his three brothers, until such time as he could afford to
support them back in the USA.
KID portrays this life and death struggle with astonishing veracity and
force. The book succeeds on many levels: not only is it an engrossing
historical document but it gives us a heroine whose maternal strength
is of heroic proportions. AMERICAN KID also paints a vivid, loving picture
of Greek village lifeand celebrates the indomitable spirit of the