"The Secret Notebook"
Patakis, 1997
ISBN: 960-16-0414-6

A dam is to be built by the National Electrical Company across the river and Daphne's village is to be lost under the water of the lake forever. She and her family are forced to move to a small basement apartment in Athens. The big city, however "knows just how to be harsh and it can easily destroy the weak and the lonely". Daphne will meet Themis and she will follow her fate. Lefteris, Daphne's older brother, however, will follow a different course, where there is still hope, love and the joy of life.

"...This book addresses teenagers - a difficult feat - which the author, however, manages with the utmost success since she possesses the following two elements: an authentic literary force and her experience of many years.

..."The Secret Notebook", in particular, is a ripe fruit of the author's creativity. As the story and the psychological profile of the main characters unfolds, the reader can detect elements that convey the steady and successful changeover from the writer-transmitter to another level of communication: that of the young adult-receiver of her message.

In "The Secret Notebook", Litsa Psarafti alternates with sensitivity, respect, knowledge and expert skill, between bitter realism (which is far from cynicism or nihilism) and humane realism. Her book directly touches the young adult reader who has consciously entered the phase of socialisation and is sensitive to the issues of the times.

...The writer, with her characteristic narrative skill, her well-known stylistic density and use of unforced language in her descriptions and dialogues - and in particular when transcribing the idiolect of the young --, sets up, with the sensitivity and clarity of the literary-observer, a stage on which a host of character types from contemporary Greek society can come to life.

This book will touch its young reader while it succeeds in transcribing aspects of today's everyday life. In these aspects, the author masterfully inserts lyrical tinges and an atmosphere in which dreams are narrated and descriptions of the happy moments from Daphne's and Lefteri's unclouded past close to nature and filled with love are provided. These inserts can be characterised as mall islands of tenderness and sweetness in which the shaped and rich world of the author meets the sensitive and polyonymous psyche of young people.

Litsa Psarafti shares her "Secret Notebook " with us in which she describes the beauty as well as the harshness of the life of simple, everyday people - our lives."

Maria-Mayia Tzaferopoulou, PhD.
"The Secret Diary - A Critical Perspective"
I Leschi ton Ekpedefton Magazine, Issue 23, February 1999

"In "The Secret Notebook ", with her usual skill and sensitivity, Litsa Psarafti confronts the subjects of present-day domestic migration and the brutality of being torn from one's native land and thus penetrates one of the great and irresolvable growing problems faced by countless people who are ultimately forced to live in a state of despair and isolation. These people encounter financial problems, ethical dilemmas, unfit living facilities, unwelcome cities, indifferent governments, an inability to adjust, superficial relationships, loneliness, humility and a great nostalgia that cannot be healed for the new life they lead cannot console them for their loss and displacement.

Litsa Psarafti's new book offers realistic writing with poetic instances, a concern for the young, strong emotions and a powerful accusation of all those officials who are supposed to protect the citizens of their country yet they turn away from them and lead young people to desperation and defeat."

Titina Danelli
Rizospastis Newspaper, 12/02/1998

"This is a familiar story that is played out everyday throughout the world. It is one of those stories that are written in the tears that are shed in the night and the sighs that are heard in the morning by millions of emigrants who increase as time passes and whose suffering continues to grow.

Greek children's literature has been repeatedly concerned with the often difficult - and incurable - problem of domestic migration. Litsa Psarafti's book is a well-balanced and sensitive work, adding its own hue, new colours and shapes to the mosaic of migration, an act that has been described as "uprooting and damnation" by some and "restoration" by others."

Eleni Sarantiti
Eleftherotypia Newspaper, 18/02/1998

"Litsa Psarafti, with her well-known quality of writing, her daring and her realism, transports us to the world of today's teenagers, proves - yet again - just how well she knows the spirit and psyche of the young."
Diadromes Magazine, 1997

"This is a powerful novel about the world of today's teenagers that is filled with impasses, everday problems and the traps of the big city. The heroes - some innocent, sensitive, and lonely and others petty, cunning and corrupt - play with life and succeed or are defeated, lose, win, hurt and love.

And love - the sovereign of all - leads to closure and to the joy of life."

Diva Magazine, May 1998

"Litsa Psarafti's latest young adult novel is a psychograph in which the social element is intensely emphasised. It describes truths which, under the light of the pen, become poignant accounts of a rotten and corrupt world that does not reckon with emotions and sensitivities."
Eugenia Zografou
Rizospastis Newspaper, 10/09/1998


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