Anna Papadopoulos’ intriguing tale makes one ponder life.
Meet Anna Papadopoulos
Author Anna Papadopoulos traces her family’s roots from Volos to Chicago, and then it “fans out from there.” Extremely private, she tells us simply that the American Midwest is home.
Anna has been writing poems and stories “since I could pick up a pen.”
“I’ve had many jobs — as a college teacher, doing office work, etc. — that involved writing in fairly important ways. Others, such as a blessedly brief stint working in a nursery school, were mostly vocal (“USE YOUR INDOOR VOICE!”).”
Inspiration for Samaritans
While attending a writing workshop a few years ago, an assignment required her to craft a story about two characters.
“I came up with something about a young woman and an older (as in late thirties!) woman, each isolated, deeply flawed, and oppressed in her own way, meeting by chance at a pool at a southwest Florida resort. It sat in a drawer for a while. When I got it out again, I chose to start the story in Indiana in the dead of winter and have the main character, the younger woman, go to Florida to search for the other. The other characters — Cass’s grandmother, Sophia; and Bill and Kaye, the retired couple she meets in Florida — just sprang to life as I worked.
Anna didn’t write Samaritans with any sort of message in mind. She just wanted to tell a story.
“I tried not to write Samaritans with a message in mind because that’s a great recipe for preachy fiction, and that’s just tiresome. If people read the book and come away with new insight about themselves and their world, whatever those might be, then I have done my job. If they get a chuckle out of the Greek, Midwestern, or Florida quirks, so much the better.”
Cassandra is the daughter of a troubled Greek American mother, and a disconnected dad. Cass has always been the family “misfit”. Her mother’s detachment, likely due to guilt over her own secret past, leaves the young woman searching for love, her own identity, and her place in life. Her grandmother Sophia is the family’s glue, and Cass’ only source of real love and support. Cass’ mother’s sudden death puts her in a tailspin. The young woman’s life continues to rally out of control, as her family — with the exception of her grandmother — rejects her. Cass finds herself searching for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, leading her to follow an older, married lover to Florida. Lost and alone, it’s the kindness of good samaritans who take her in, give her a chance, and show her that she is a good person, and is worthy of love.
Review of Samaritans
This story is about how the choices we make not only affect us, but those around us, most especially our children — even when those choices are made pre-kids. We must accept the consequences of our choices and make peace with them, or they will come back to haunt us, and those closest to us. As a parent, it made me ponder my own choices, and how they affect my children.
Cass’ fumbling through life reflects her search and need for maternal love. It’s a tale about self-discovery through life’s unexpected twists and turns, and how much kindness — even from strangers — makes a difference.
If you previously began to read this story and put it down because you found some scenes to be explicit, note that they have been removed. Give it another chance. This intriguing tale truly makes you think. A new, updated version is available.
Samaritans is available in Kindle version.
By: Anna Papadopoulos
Publisher: Three Trees Press (February 28, 2015)
Publication Date: February 28, 2015