Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Climbing St. Friday - A Delightful Coming-of-Age Story by Global Greek Writer, Dena Kouremetis


' brothers and I did not have to wait until adulthood to see Greece. In 1965, Pop decided to take the entire family to the land of antiquities so we could see it for ourselves. 

And at age thirteen, I fell rapturously in love with the blue waters, the delicate sunlight, and the smells and sounds of Greek life—from the donkeys braying in the small villages to the smell of roasted chestnuts being sold on a city street. Greece suddenly became a magical place for me, fueled by my father’s stories and inexhaustible enthusiasm for it. 

For my brothers and I, meeting both sides of our many European relatives became a study in heavy sighing (we understood little of the language), but the rest was magnificent—the Acropolis, the hillside villages, and the islands of whitewashed bungalows dotting cliffs reached by narrow, painted paths. 

Even the unique Mediterranean aromas that wafted down the streets of Athens changed with every corner we turned. I knew I had to go back....

...and go back she did, a few years later for a year that would change her life...
The extract above is from Greek American author and consultant, Dina Kouremetis' latest book, Climbing St Friday... a delightful and nostalgic look at life in the 1970s, a coming-of-age story that chronicles a year in a young girl’s life that forever changed her. It is a poignant look at an age of innocence set against the backdrop of a foreign country controlled by its military forces.

The eighteen year old girl that arrives on a huge ship in the Greek port of Piraeus the summer of 1970 does so with an excitement equalled only by her wander-lusting father, who completed his own odyssey to the ‘old country’ at precisely the same age in 1938.

It is a story that most of us who have grown up abroad can identify with readily, its many references to situations and experiences which we  have 'lived' shall we say, will make you smile, if not laugh outright!

Funnily enough we wrote this before we saw that that's exactly what Dena Kouremetis wants us to do! As she writes in her blog,  at the end of her introduction of this marvellous little book:  

'I see this completed work as a work of nostalgia, humor, and history all at the same time, hearkening back to an era when ‘peace would guide the planets and love would steer the stars’ in a rapidly-changing world. The sweetness of growing up in a fun-loving but tightly-knit family served as the cliff-top from which I spread my wings and took flight. Once I took that first step, however, I knew I would never view life from the same perspective again.'

My wish is that it evokes some feelings of watershed realizations you may have had in your own life, reminds you of a more innocent time and above all — makes you smile...

It sure did!

About Dena

A second-generation Greek-American, Dena Kouremetis is a writer, consultant, speaker and professional trainer.

She is also the Northern California area director for, an organization that works with schools, businesses, colleges,  associations and senior communities to spread the word on identity theft safety, now the #1 crime in America.

A would-be law student and professional writer, Dena is a quintessential communicator and has been a professional trainer since 2002. A natural story-teller, she has  written about a variety of topics from America’s housing, to midlife romance, to celebrity profiles, and now writes columns for, where she is the National Greek American Culture Examiner, while at the same time  continuing to write about timely topics through her web site,

Dena started writing professionally over 12 years ago with her 'Under Contructions' column for the The Sacramento Bee and subsequently went to work as a new homes marketing and business development manager for Sacramento’s The Advantage Group. In 1998, she began writing full-time and co-authored two real estate books, The Homebuyer’s Kit and The Homeseller’s Kit with syndicated real estate columnist Edith Lank. 

Several of her personal stories have appeared in books, including Heavenly Miracles (Morrow Press) and Raging Gracefully:Smart Women on Life Love, and Coming into Your Own (Adams Media) and she was profiled in Professional Women magazine in 2004.

Apart from being a very accomplished writer and speaker, Dena also offers a very broad spectrum of writing related services, from ghostwriting and speechwriting, to professional profiles and editorial services ...

To read more about Dena, or contact her, visit her blog 

To read more of Climbing St Friday and buy the e-book, visit, which is where we copied the quotes from. Hope we haven't infringed any copyrights!

Dena, we at Global Greek World loved the excerpts we read and wish you every success with this great story!!! 

Καλή Επιτυχία! 

PS We also liked what the Examiner had to say about you (and the rest of us wherever we are in the world)...

They dance in snaking lines to syncopated Mediterranean rhythms, offer us pastries we get our hands on only at weddings or festivals, and observe Easter on a different date more often than not. Greek-Americans continue to celebrate their root-bound ancient heritage in whatever country they call their own, and writer Dena Kouremetis is no exception. One of's original national examiners, Kouremetis offers us insight into the world of a hyphenated culture few ever read about...'

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