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Thursday, 20 February 2020

Passage to Paxos, Anna Weale.

See my essay on some insiders and outsiders who have written about Greece:

An excerpt, about Anna Weale and Passage to Paxos, Mills and Boon, 1981.

I have only ever read one Mills and Boon romance, Passage to Paxos, by Anne Weale (1981). I thought it was well written, given the constraints of the publisher’s frame of reference and formulaic advice, as set out online in the Mills and Boon author-guidance page, ‘How to write True Love, All About Mills and Boon True Love’

'Glamorous, international settings are encouraged and work well to add the aspirational element to our romances’…’Low-sensuality: These stories are high on emotional and sensual tension, but have no explicit sexual detail’. The romance series is ‘all about the heroine, she is the key.

Passage to Paxos is also about “the gaze” of the writer and the characters. Anne Weale provides a good example at the beginning of her story. Anna is the Greek apartment-cleaner, Valissa the heroine, on holiday on Paxos on her own: consider the gaze of the tourist, the reverse/ reciprocal gaze of the local Greek:

“Language was not the only barrier between them. Their backgrounds were as different as if they belonged to different planets. For Valissa, a lifetime spent on a tiny Greek island, however idyllic, was unthinkable. For Anna a life without a husband and children would be equally unthinkable. She would never be able to understand that, in the wide world beyond Paxos, women now had a number of choices as to which way they wanted to live and Valissa had chosen to have a career which left her neither the time nor energy for anything or anyone else.”


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