25 Juin 2016
A few weeks ago, I was telling you about The Tiger's Wife, a great first novel by Serbian born author Téa Obreht, which deals with the aftermaths of a war that is never named but presents many similarities with the Yugoslavian war. Sara Nović's novel on the other side, clearly identifies the war that is fought and the countries involved. However, it is told from the point of view of a child. Ana, a 10-year-old Croatian, first experiences the war in Zagreb where she leads an innocent but chaotic life marked by constant air raids and encounters with traumatized refugees. But a trip to Bosnia will confront Ana to another more gruesome aspect of the war and change her existence forever (I will not tell you how, but the NYT review I linked below goes more into detail).
This novel reads very quickly, but is not devoid of depth. Indeed, it manages to be at once entertaining, moving and stimulating while asking very universal questions: What defines my identity? What is home? What is guilt? etc. I recommend it especially to people who want to better understand this episode of recent European history, but I think everyone can identify to Ana's troubled destiny.