The Author – Dr. Joseph M. Willakhm
In his novel The Flowers of Paradise Lost, Gabriel Clark Duncan describes Willokia as a mountain village chief. It was his passion for the sweet tea that made him write of the village in a manner that made you want to climb a mountain to get a taste of this local brew. It was his love of holly, and knowledge of how to best preserve it, that led him on a journey that would change his life. He traveled for several days and nights to the mountain village, hoping to find the perfect spot for his tea. On the third day, after many fruitless hours searching, he came upon what he believed to be the absolute perfect spot: a sheltered cauldron in a small hollowed out hillside, surrounded by a lush garden full of willows and flowering plants.
It was at this moment that the story of the last Tsunami struck. The Japanese had been using the small cauldron as an emergency exit for boats getting hit by powerful ocean waves since the 12th century. Willokhlass’s heart was set on finding the perfect spot for his tea in case of such an event, and he spent all of his savings on the search. Eventually, however, he had enough.
Only Fans can tell the story of the lonely trek through the forest on which this book was written, and they do so in an engaging and memorable way. The book starts off with Willakhm taking a hot, but miserable, walk through the forest with only his faithful dog Fagan with him. The surroundings are filled with the sounds of birdsong and the sweet scent of burning leaves, reminding Willakhm of home and of the calm of the woods he had left behind.
Willakhm finally arrives at his destination: a beautiful, moss covered cottage hidden in the undergrowth of a large oak tree. Despite the tranquil and serene surroundings, there is something distinctly different about Willakhm’s cabin. Like many isolated places in Greece and Italy, it has not been touched by human activity for centuries. As he peers into the cracked, moist interior, Willakhm notices some peculiar writing on the wall which has been scratched into the rock over time.
A mystery writer by nature, Willakhm knew that the message would hold great importance to both him and Fagan, who would be studying the message. He felt it was important to detail the elements of the ritual which he wanted his followers to carry out on their arrival at the cabin. Willakhm also hoped that by translating the message into his own language, his followers would feel a closer connection to their homeland.
Willakhm and Fagan travel through a long, strange country ruled by the gods, where tradition supersedes all else. Only Willakhm seems to be aware of the fact that all roads lead to Thebes. His faith, so deep and abiding, is tested when his attempts to explain the message of the tea fail. His faith is rewarded, however, when he meets up with his old flame Anna, who is equally impressed by the isolated country and the purity of its traditions.