Walking on Fire

Greece. Politics. Love. Danger.

Reeling from a failed marriage and spurred on by a burgeoning sense of feminism, twenty-five-year-old Kate accepts a position as a speech therapist in a center for children with cerebral palsy in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is 1974, and the recent end of Greece’s seven-year dictatorship has ignited a fiery anti-American sentiment within the country. Despite this, as her Greek improves, Kate teaches communication to severely disabled children, creates profound friendships, and finds a home in the ancient and historied city. From a dramatic Christmas pig slaughter to a mesmerizing fire walking ceremony, her world expands rapidly—even more so when she falls in love with Thanasis, a handsome Communist.

Through Thanasis, Kate meets people determined to turn a spotlight on their former dictators’ massacre of university students, as well as their record of widespread censorship and torture of dissidents. The more she learns, the more her loyalty to her country and almost everything she was taught in her conservative home state of Texas is challenged. Kate is transformed by her odyssey, but when her very safety is threatened by the politics of her lover, she must choose: risk everything to stay with Thanasis and the Greece that has captured her heart, or remove herself from harm’s way by returning to her homeland?

Praise for Walking on Fire

Fans of self-discovery will relish Kate’s foreign adventure and find her attempts to settle into a local rhythm entertaining, as she tries to find the balance between defending her home and being open to the political injustice the trip brings to light. . . . Readers will cheer her metamorphosis, and may even feel changed along with her, thanks to Crawley’s skillful rendering of Kate’s inner revelations and hard-earned maturity . . .”
—BookLife Reviews

Walking on Fire will transport you to Greece in the 1970s, to the whitewashed churches, the lively outdoor markets, and the smoky coffee bars as a young American woman discovers the sun-drenched beauty of a new culture, as well as her own country’s dark secrets. Passionate and political, Crawley’s debut novel burns deeply and brightly, pulling the reader into this powerful story about shedding naiveté, trusting fate, and ultimately, finding transformation.”
—Sandra A. Miller, author of Wednesdays at One

This page-turner will initiate you to the tumultuous days in mid-seventies Greece when a young American comes to heal from a divorce and meets love, controversial politics, and danger. It is a must-read, well-researched and heartwarming.”
—Sophia Kouidou-Giles, author of Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past

A coming-of-age loss-of-innocence love story set in an exotic land in the aftermath of a military coup. What more could one ask for? This tightly-written, compelling tale of a young woman’s awakening to a larger and far more complex world than she’d ever imagined just may awaken the reader as well. Highly recommended!”
—Sean Murphy, National Endowment for the Arts Creative Fellow, and award-winning author of The Time of New Weather and The Hope Valley Hubcap King