Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beginning ~ with a pack of cigarettes

"The war in Zagreb began over
a pack of cigarettes."

Girl at War ~ by Sara Nović, 2015, fiction (Croatia)
Zagreb, 1991.  Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital.  But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood.  Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire.  Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray.  When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world.

New York, 2001.  Ana is now a college student in Manhattan.  Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war — secrets she keeps even from those closest to her.  Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home.  As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her country’s difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before.
I just got this from the library today, so I haven't started it. But it looks interesting.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Anne Bennett said...

We read this book for book club a few months back. I've thought about it ever since then.

Sherry Fundin said...

Sounds like a book that sticks with you.
sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

Helen's Book Blog said...

This book is on my list to read soon and your quotes from it have solidified my desire to read it!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Helen, these paragraphs are from pages 51-52 (I have gotten this far into the book), where the children used their nervous energy to power a generator bike in the shelters:

Our classmate Tomislav found his older brother in an alley a block from their house, his blood already congealing and caked into the sidewalk cracks. No one ever told us what had happened, not directly, but from the conversations that occurred above our heads, we knew.

I saw Tomislav underground during a raid two days later. The rest of us were shoving in line for the generator bike / when he showed up. We stopped pushing and stared. The starkness in his eyes scared me much more than if he had been crying. The boy who was riding stopped without discussion. Tomislav passed us and mounted the bicycle.

For a moment I watched him as he pedaled furiously, turning his pain into power, something tangible and scientific. Then we dissolved the line and moved to another corner of the shelter to give him some privacy, which seemed like the right thing to do according to the code of wartime behavior we were making up as we went along.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I just read a book set in Bosnia, so it would be interesting to read one set in Croatia

Bev Bouwer said...

Sounds fascinating. I think I'd like this one. The Undoing Project is my Friday book.