For Charmian Clift, Greece was the Promised Land. In 1954 she and her husband, George Johnston, abandoned their sophisticated London existence and set off with two new typewriters and two small children to start a new life. In Mermaid Singing - written during the first miraculous year of discovery - she records the family's adaptation to the primitive sponge-diving island of Kalymnos. Peel Me a Lotus continues the exploration as Clift and Johnson buy a house on the island of Hydra, in the middle of the summer tourist trail. Clift's writing about Greece was undervalued at the time of first publication, because she wrote from a women's point of view and recorded the intimate details of daily life. It is exactly this quality which enables this classic to appeal to a new generation of readers.