Stairway to Heaven
Plato Papajohnís true story begins just before the outbreak of World War II, with an idyllic glimpse of village life in the Greek island of Evia, where the eleven-year-old Plato rises early each Sunday morning to ring the bells of his beloved church. Soon, however, the beauty of Greece, its people, its islands, its majestic mountains and peaceful beaches, are to fall into the brutal hands of the Nazis, and Platoís idyllic world will turn into a nightmare. As a result of the occupation, life becomes a daily struggle for survival, a struggle that transforms Plato, the innocent child, into a cold, unfeeling creature capable of doing whatever he deems necessary to keep himself and his family alive during these terrible years.
Those who never felt the cold breath of war, death, and starvation, on the back of their necks cannot relate to the haunted dreams of those who have. And Papajohnís true story of struggle and survival does not end after the liberation. The evil communist uprising and the ensuing civil war bring in more horrors to young Plato, his family, and friends; more experiences of brutality, intrigue, betrayal, cunning, and revenge.
Always a survivor, Plato, much hardened by his experience of the Nazi occupation and the civil war, manages to overcome these horrors and to emigrate from the tiny village in Evia, to a new life in the United States, where he must face new challenges as he becomes acculturated to a new homeland.
His journey, always moving and inspiring, becomes even more so, when, along the way, he comes to discover the purpose of his existence by rediscovering the God who, he thought, had long abandoned him.
Platoís journey, both worldly and spiritual, continues as he moves on to a new home and a new life in the prosperous post-war America where he eventually becomes a husband, a father, and a successful businessman.
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