The Mauve Umbrella is a story of two worlds ? the adult world of approaching war and the children's world of close friendships, rivalry and games of the imagination. Eleftheria lives somewhere in Marousi, Athens, with her parents and younger, identical twin, brothers. It is shortly before the war in 1940 and she is nine, going on ten. The children's best friend is the daughter of a rich family in the neighbourhood. Later, a young French boy arrives, escaping from Nazi occupied France, to live with his French uncle, who lives in the apartment above Eleftheria's family. Alki Zei was born in Athens. From 1954 to 1964 she was a political refugee in the Soviet Union. In 1964 she was forced to flee with the arrival of the Junta. From a young age she wrote scenes for puppet theatres before writing her series of children's books. Her first novel for adults, ?Achilles Fianc?e?, was published in 1987. She was recognised for her work by the Athens Academy in 2010.