Something Beautiful Happened (Hardcover)

A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil

By Yvette Manessis Corporon

Howard Books, 9781501161117, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Seventy years after her grandmother helped hide a Jewish family on a Greek island during World War II, a woman sets out to track down their descendants—and discovers a new way to understand tragedy, forgiveness, and the power of kindness.

Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about how the people of the small Greek island Erikousa hid a Jewish family—a tailor named Savvas and his daughters—from the Nazis during World War II. Nearly 2,000 Jews from that area died in the concentration camps, but even though everyone on Erikousa knew Savvas and his family were hiding on the island, no one ever gave them up, and the family survived the war.

Years later, Yvette couldn’t get the story of the Jewish tailor out of her head. She decided to track down the man’s descendants—and eventually found them in Israel. Their tearful reunion was proof to her that evil doesn’t always win. But just days after she made the connection, her cousin’s child was gunned down in a parking lot in Kansas, a victim of a Neo-Nazi out to inflict as much harm as he could. Despite her best hopes, she was forced to confront the fact that seventy years after the Nazis were defeated, it was still happening today.

As Yvette and her family wrestled with the tragedy in their own lives, the lessons she learned from the survivors of the Holocaust helped her confront and make sense of the present.

In beautifully told interweaving storylines, the past and present come together in a nuanced, heartfelt story about the power of faith, the importance of kindness, and the courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of great evil.

About the Author

Yvette Manessis Corporon is a three-time Emmy Award–winning writer, author, and producer. Her debut novel, When The Cypress Whispers (Harper, 2014), has been translated into fourteen languages and was an international bestseller. She has received the Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism and the New York City Council and Comptroller’s Award for Greek Heritage and Culture. Yvette lives in New York with her husband and two children.

Praise For Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil

"This beautifully written story will light the way through life’s darkest moments proving that kindness is the most powerful force of all."   

"Part thriller, part history, this meticulously researched memoir tells a searing story of human kindness in brutal times."

“This heart-warming story has so many amazing twists, turns and beautiful invisible thread connections which proves how there is more goodness and love in our world than evil.”

SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL HAPPENED is both an engrossing peek into a little-known chapter of World War II, and one family’s harrowing tale of finding the lost pieces of its own history. With impeccable research and rich detail, Yvette Manessis Corporon deftly intertwines these narratives to create a powerful and unforgettable memoir. I will be thinking about these characters for a long time to come.

“As heartwarming, as it is moving and thought-provoking, Something Beautiful Happened is part evocative and touching personal memoir, part insightful and uncompromising factual accounting, lending critical perspective on the ongoing fight against intolerance.” 

“A story of compassion and collective resistance during World War II… there is undeniable emotional power in the connections her story helps forge between the living and the dead, some of whom might be otherwise forgotten.”


“An homage to the silent courage of a few when faced with overwhelming evil… A heartfelt story.”