A Rope of Vines- Journal from a Greek Island is a beautiful and personal account of the time spent by Brenda Chamberlain on the Greek Island of Ydra in the early 1960s.
Sea and harbour, mountain and monastery, her neighbours and friends are unforgettably pictured; these were the reality outside herself while within there was a conflict of emotion and warring desires which is also vividly brought to life. Joy and woe are woven fine in this record: the delight of a multitude of fresh experiences thronging to the senses, the suffering from which she emerges with new understanding of herself and human existence.
Both in the intensity and force of the writing and the eloquent island drawings, A Rope of Vines- Journal from a Greek Island is a distinguished achievement.
About the author:
Brenda Chamberlain was born at Bangor in 1912. In 1931 she went to train as a painter at the Royal Academy Schools in London and five years later, after marrying the artist-craftsman John Petts, settled near the village of Llanllechid, near Bethesda in Caernarfonshire. During the Second World War she worked with her husband on the production of the Caseg Broadsheets. In 1947 she went to live on Bardsey (Ynys Enlli) where she remained until 1961. After six years on the Greek island of Ydra, she returned to Bangor; it was there, depressed and with financial problems, she died from an overdose of sleeping tablets in 1971. A Rope of Vines was published in 1965.
I have returned to the good mothers of Efpraxia while my friend Leonidas serves sentence for manslaughter of an English tourist in the port of Ydra.
I am putting my thoughts together, for here the mind can clear itself. The nuns ask only simple questions, I have freedom to come and go as I please, no games of pretence are being played as they are every day of the week on the waterfront, I can take a siesta in a juniper tree if I feel like it.