The first phrase in the ancient Greek original of “The Odyssey” is “a man.”
The man, Odysseus, while traveling home is whisked away by the vengeful winds of Poseidon who wishes to keep the hero from returning there. During his travels, the magical women Calypso and Circe try to keep him as their amorous slave. In spite of the distractions, Odysseus always breaks away to pursue the sea’s horizon, leaving every 14 year-old boy who reads the old poem to wonder what on earth could be so great about Ithaca.
Otilia Greco has written her own odyssey in her new novella, “Angelica’s Discoveries.” Taking place immediately after World War II, Angelica leaves her idyllic childhood village located high in the Swiss Alps. Restless and travel-hungry, she ignores her protective father’s protests and decides to set off for Greece with the promise of employment as a travel guide waiting for her upon her arrival there.
On her way to Greece, her desire to travel is tested only by her fear of the open water. As she prepares to cross the Mediterranean, she conquers her fear with the help of a wise old Greek sea captain and embarks on her adventure.
When Angelica arrives in Greece, she becomes the object of affection for a few men who must compete against her constant desire to travel and explore. However, she soon discovers that with the right person, love can be the ultimate adventure and that with the right partner, travel can become even more wonderful.