A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree by Marjory McGinn

REVIEW: ‘A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree’ by Marjory McGinn

Marjory McGinn, her partner Jim Bruce, and their sidekick Wallace are back in book 3, A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree, about  their tales from the Peloponnese. You’ll love it!


Brit Author Marjory McGinn fell in love with Greece long ago. She and her partner, Jim, and their “crazy” Jack Russell terrier, Wallace (wait — is that redundant?) have had three extended stays in Greece, and can’t wait to get back for the next one. A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree: Mad Adventures on a Greek Peninsula is book number 3 in this series where she shares their adventures. I’ll just tell you now, I love all of them.


Marjory McGinn shares her adventures on an extended stay in Koroni, Messinia.


Marjory McGinn

Readers will recall that author Marjory McGinn was born in Scotland, but moved to Australia as a child. These early adventures ignited a passion for travel and writing. In Sydney, and then later back in her native UK, she worked as a journalist. Her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Mail, Scotland’s The Herald, and Sydney Morning Herald, and others. She and her partner, Jim Bruce – and Wallace, of course – spent an extended stay in Greece, which led to book 1, Things Can Only Get Feta: Two Journalists and Their Crazy Dog Living Through the Greek Crisis. Wallace is responsible for many comedic moments in all three books, and you can’t help but fall in love with him.


Things Can Only Get Feta

After a particularly chilly Scotland winter, and a consolidation in the newspaper industry in 2009 that changed the course of their careers, they rented a house in Megali Mantineia, in Messinia.  There, they were affectionately re-named “Margarita”, “Dimitri”, and “Vassili”.

Back in 2014, ‘Margarita’ reflected on this time.

“The fact that the timing was poor, with Greece sinking into economic crisis, did not dent our enthusiasm one bit, even though everyone we knew thought we really were mad. But if Greeks could live with a crisis, so could we!”

Feta’ takes a light-hearted look at their first extended stay in Greece.


Homer’s Where the Heart Is

Marjory and Jim did not want to go home, but decided to experience another village, and moved to Paleohora. ‘Homer’ chronicles the story of this year-long adventure. Marjory also recounts her first trips to Greece in the 1970s.


RELATED: Read our review of Homer’s Where the Heart Is


REVIEW: A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree

‘Margarita,’ Dimitri’, and ‘Wallakos’ (he’s re-christened) return for another adventure, this time in Koroni. Part memoir, part travelogue, ‘Scorpion’ is an endearing tale of their continued immersion into Greek life, this time in a new village. We follow them to church, the panigyria (festivals), on visits to monasteries and more. They take us along as they travel the area, meet with friends old and new, and share the occasional gaffe or two.

Wallace mellows a bit, as he’s getting up in his years. It seems that he may have passed the baton to ‘Margarita’, who embraces her inner Zorba —er Wallace– for a few madcap adventures of her own. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Despite the scorpions and other assorted incidents and challenges, their love for Greece never ceased. The couple had to return to the UK due to a family illness, but can’t wait to return to their beloved Greece. As I read about their departure from Greece, I was sad too, knowing their heart remained there — scorpions or not. If you can’t get to Greece, pick up a copy of ‘Scorpion’, and enjoy the ride.


A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree: Mad Adventures on a Greek Peninsula

By: Marjory McGinn

Publisher: Pelagos Press (July 1, 2016)


Follow Marjory McGinn: Big Fat Greek Blog; Facebook; and Twitter

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