An Odyssey of Love and Mystery

Romance - Contemporary
194 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In the lovely romance novel, Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery by Otilia Greco, a brief encounter between two strangers blossoms into a beautiful romance story years later. Nina struggles with her grief after being widowed twice by the age of thirty-five. She retreats to her favorite place, a hotel located on a picturesque Greek island which has been her peaceful haven during overwhelming times in the past. As she looks out at sea from her balcony, she sees the same sailing boat she saw each time she came to the hotel. Nikos is a man who has attained remarkable professional success but struggles in his personal life. He now lives separated from his friends. His encounter years earlier with a beautiful ice skater has become a cherished dream.

Otilia Greco depicts the emotions that each character experiences wonderfully, creating evocative and poignant scenes. The story includes compelling, in-depth backstories of the main characters which cover their childhood, coming of age years, and adulthood. The characters come alive in the beautiful, breathtaking settings painted in the story. I enjoyed the different sub-plots threaded together to create the main story. I also loved how the story moves between the past and the present, following each character’s path. There are many surprises included which I found captivating. The story involves interesting Greek historical detail. Dreams is a wonderful romance with intriguing characters and thrilling twists. Recommended to all fans of romance novels.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery by Otilia Greco is a mystical romance novel. This book is about a small Greek island community and its love stories. Over a long period, the members of this community experience love and loss. They grow from generation to generation, and the community continues to develop economically. Other people visit the island to witness its beautiful scenery and calming sea. One such visitor is Nina. One lonely night, Nina watches a man on his sailboat on the island. She wonders about the mysterious man's life story. Unbeknownst to Nina, this man is the key to her happiness. They have intertwined stories, and destiny has finally decided to cross their paths. Nikos is a member of this island community, but he has chosen to hide. He has experienced great misfortune when it comes to love and thinks he is bound for loneliness, but fate has other plans.

I could not stop reflecting on the fascinating connections in these stories. Otilia Greco had me confused at the beginning with all the random stories about the inhabitants of the island. I loved how the author finally connected all the stories and had my jaw dropping with the realization of Niko's and Nina's fates. Dreams has a perfect build-up to its plot twist, and I did not see it coming. The author's writing is so beautiful and engaging. Every character had a story to tell, and the author relayed every story so perfectly. Courage is vital when it comes to love. Love is complicated, or maybe it is not. Sometimes we need to take that giant step and put our hearts on the line.

Miche Arendse

Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery by Otilia Greco follows the life of Nina and her friends Demetrios and Penelope as they experience love, loss, and hardship. Nina had always wished for everlasting love and, after a trip to Greece, it seemed as though the hands of fate had pulled together all the people she needed in her life. It appeared as though all was well but things change, and so did the relationships she found herself in. Life never seems to play out the way you expect and Nina is an example of that.

Dreams by Otilia Greco is truly an example of expectation versus reality. This novel does such an amazing job of showing how life can take the most unexpected turns and lead you down a path you never expected to be on. The characters in the novel are authentic in that they want what everyone else wants: happiness, love, and peace. It is through their eyes that we see the hardships that they end up enduring for the sake of these things. My only criticism of this novel is that as it developed it seemed to switch perspectives and timeframes rapidly, which was a bit confusing at first but, other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I appreciated that the author touched on such real and deep emotions through the character's experiences, especially with Nina. In particular, I got emotional reading through her perspective, and to me, that shows what a great book this is.

Pikasho Deka

Penelope, Demetrios, and Nikos were inseparable friends as they grew up on a small picturesque Greek island in the late 1940s. While Demetrios and Penelope would go on to own a hotel and start a family together, life had other plans for Nikos, who left to further his studies at a university in Athens. Meanwhile, a woman named Nina has been visiting this island for two decades, seeking an escape from the sorrows she had been through. After two marriages that ended in tragedy, all Nina wants is a peaceful place to recuperate. However, when fate crosses Nina's path with Nikos, the two realize that they had met decades ago in Switzerland when Nina was a young ice skater. What does the future hold for these two? Grab a copy of Otilia Greco's Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery to find out.

Although the narrative may feel like a slow burn, Otilia Greco's slice-of-life tale is all the more immersive for it. Dreams follows a small group of people on a beautiful Greek island as their lives intersect through some momentous events. This is a character-driven drama that takes its time setting up the plot while the characters draw the reader into their lives and keep them hooked on their stories. Greco paints a vivid portrait of people growing up with few material possessions who still hold on to their dreams and, sometimes, exceed their expectations. If you're in the mood for a heartwarming story about love, friendship, and resilience, this is the perfect book for you.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery by Otilia Greco is a romance novel set on a beautiful Greek island in 1986. The story unravels with Nina taking time off from her busy life in Portugal and taking a holiday in her favorite island destination. Sitting for hours alone on the balcony of her hotel room, fixed on the familiar sight of a small sailing boat anchored in the bay, she wonders if anyone lives there. Widowed twice, her life has been filled with ups and downs. She stays in her favorite hotel owned by the Greek couple Demetrios and Penelope who have become her friends. What follows is the telling of a fascinating story that will reunite her with a man she briefly met years ago. She has come to love Greek culture and learned that almost every person on the island has a unique history. Will the ancient Greek gods and the mysterious sea determine her destiny?

Otilia Greco’s Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery is a captivating love story. Although set in contemporary times, readers can get a look inside the lives of the island’s inhabitants and Greek culture. The author’s literary writing style is lyrical and descriptive, and the characters are exciting and well-developed. The plot is also woven together in a very creative way. I find the main characters enigmatic but still relatable; perhaps the main reason it’s an absorbing read. With all the elements of a great love story, this is a must-read for lovers of romantic novels!

Risah Salazar

Her Greek island is where Nina returns every time she needs a break from life’s harsh reality. At a young age, Nina had a terrible injury that made it impossible to pursue her dreams. Nina has always been a dreamer; she dreams of escaping her hometown and becoming someone greater. At thirty-five, she had already been widowed twice. Both marriages were short but inexplicably happy. She might not have been with her first and second husbands for too long but she made the most out of the time she had with each of them. Now once again nursing a broken heart and trying to heal from it, back on her island, she sits on her hotel room balcony and stares at this mysterious sailboat with an equally mysterious sailor. Later on, she’ll discover a mystery that she’s been part of all along.

Otilia Greco’s Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery is just the kind of whimsical love story one needs. Like Nina visiting her island, this book will serve as a respite from life’s harshness. Dreams has a captivating start and this binding spell continues through to the end. Greco’s colorful language and vivid imagery get the reader absorbed into the main plot as well as the side stories. The juxtaposition of past and present is not confusing at all. All the characters are interesting; with some of them what you see is what you get but some are beautifully complex so that one cannot help but relate. What makes this book a great read is how the author explored the concept of destiny. The pacing is another ingredient that made the story magical. Nothing feels rushed, the intrigue and mystery unfold at the perfect time. The fonts used look ethereal and in line with the dreamy narrative. Overall, Dreams by Otilia Greco is a light but heartfelt read that should be on every hopeless romantic’s bookshelf.

K.C. Finn

Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery is a work of fiction in the contemporary romance and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and is written by author Otilia Greco. In this charming and heartfelt look at life, love, and the different paths we take, we follow the life of Nina, a young woman with big dreams for her future happiness. Nina’s life is beset by a series of tragedies and difficult romances that leave her widowed and wondering if her princely dreams will ever be a reality. But a chance meeting in Greece brings people and feelings back into her life that Nina could never have imagined.

Author Otilia Greco captures the spirit of the Mediterranean and utilizes it as an ideal backdrop for this romantic odyssey. I found myself captivated from the start by the cinematic and multisensory descriptions of the places that Nina visits, first in her younger years and then again with the added lens of life’s many ups and downs. I found Nina relatable throughout and the close attention that the author pays to her narration and dialogue provides emotional weight to her situation without it ever feeling spoon-fed or over-dramatized. This realism makes it all the more heartfelt when moments of true love and sometimes unimaginable tragedy hit home. I recommend Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery for contemporary romance fans who are seeking something with a deeper meaning and want a highly original work that is far from the idealized romance.

Grace Ruhara

Dreams by Otilia Greco is an inspirational and romantic novel that deserves a happy ending. Demetrios, Penelope, and Niko were great and inseparable friends growing up. Their care and love for each other were exceptional and admirable. This changes when both Demetrios and Niko fall in love with Penelope, who chooses Demetrios. Niko is disappointed and vows never to return home. He falls in love with Nina, his "ice princess" in his adventures. He is afraid of approaching her, and then she leaves for school, never to see her again. Years later, they meet on a Greek island, but Niko is still afraid of approaching her.

What I liked most about Dreams by Otilia Greco was how determined the boys were as they grew up, even though their families tried to stop them. Niko's dream was to become a sea captain, and Demetrios's was to build big hotels. I saw them fight and accomplish each of those goals. This inspired me to work toward my dreams and achieve anything I set my mind to. I also loved the vivid descriptions throughout the novel. They aided in painting mental images that transported me to the specific settings, and I enjoyed the utopian world created by the author as the scenes unfolded. I loved the author's description of the sea the most. Her description of the fresh breeze, the color of the water, and the fresh smell of the air helped me make mental notes of such a serene environment and had a calming effect on me. I felt relaxed and calm while reading and enjoyed each experience.

Essien Asian

A rose and a poem from a mysterious admirer are the only mementos Nina has kept from her time spent skating in the Alps. Through the highs and lows of two marriages, she holds fast to the promise of a better tomorrow despite the travails of the present, but now that she has returned to Greece to pick up the pieces of her life, it seems as if the promise may just be fulfilled. The key lies in an abandoned-looking boat at the harbor and a handsome stranger with a predilection for black outfits. Secrets spanning several generations will be unearthed for the seeds of romance to blossom in Dreams: An Odyssey of Love and Mystery by Otilia Greco.

Romance goes on an odyssey of sorts when you read Otilia Greco's novel. The origin stories of each character are thoroughly dissected right down to their flaws and motivations, leaving absolutely nothing out. Initially, it may feel like a case of too much information, but any prospective reader must muster the patience necessary to appreciate the gradual build-up of the storyline. The conversations between the characters are down to earth and easy to follow, even on the few occasions where Greco spices up some of the subplots with an entertaining dose of intrigue. You can't help but wonder what criteria Penelope will use to make her choice or if Elena's secret will be revealed. If you are looking for a good dose of romance with a well-worked storyline to get your thinking cap into gear, then Otilia Greco's Dreams will not disappoint you.