Book Review by ALH for June or July 2023 from ALH

Book Review by ALH for June or July 2023 from ALH



William Planes, Author

BY: ELLEN JAMES (History Teacher)

As I read this book, it captivated me to the point that I could not leave it down until I completed my read.


“Platanides: Through the Eye of The Storm” by William Planes is a captivating and poignant true story that sheds light on the struggles and resilience of the Greek Orthodox Christians at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century in Asia Minor during what is now called the first genocides of the 20th Century. This book chronicles the life of a Christian boy and his family as they escape the horrors of the genocide and, as refugees, fleeing to Greece, some continuing as refugees to the United States and others eventually migrating to Crete.


The author, William Planes, masterfully weaves together his father’s experiences, personal anecdotes, and historical events to create a narrative that is both educational and deeply moving. Through vivid descriptions and a heartfelt writing style, he transports readers to the turbulent times of the early twentieth century, where his father with his parents and siblings faced immense challenges and danger, including death for being Faithful Orthodox Christians.


The strength of this book lies in its ability to convey the importance of Faith and the role of undoubting Faith Christ and the Theotokos (Holly Mother) in overcoming adversity. The author’s emphasis on the Christian Orthodox Faith, passed down through generations, highlights the profound impact it had on the survival and resilience of his father and his father’s family. This theme resonates throughout the story, inspiring readers to reflect on the power of Faith in their own lives.


“Platanides: Through the Eye of The Storm” not only provides a historical account of the genocides and the struggles faced by the author’s father in Asia Minor in the early 20th Century and later in the 1940’s in Crete Greece during WW II German occupation, but it also serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms enjoyed in the United States. The author’s warnings about the need to protect these freedoms serve as a timely and important message for today’s readers.


The author’s dedication to preserving Hellenic culture and history is evident throughout the book. His recognition as a nominee for the “2023 London Hellenic Award” is a testament to the authenticity and impact of his work. William Planes brings his own personal connection to the story, as the first generation born to a survivor of the genocide in Asia Minor, adding a powerful and intimate perspective to the narrative.


“Platanides: Through The Eye of The Storm” is a remarkable and inspiring account of survival, Faith, and the enduring human spirit. William Planes has crafted a narrative that will leave readers both educated and deeply moved. This book has the potential to not only enlighten and entertain, but also provide knowledge that will continue to inspire the generations to come.


I recommend this book to be read by young and old alike.  



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