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Wednesday Weekly

The Rose of Sarajevo

By Ayse Kulin

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I know it’s not Wednesday yet, but I am trying to stay ahead of the game!! It is back to the real world of work tomorrow!

I bought this book for my kindle. It is 268 pages and was released in 2014. I chose to read this because I read The Last Train to Istanbul written by Kulin. It was a great book and I did a post on it a long time ago. This book was first released in Turkish and was translated to English. The translator here did a great job. I had another reason to read this, I wanted to learn about the Serbian/Bosnian wars and history. Akron is a hot spot for refugees and there was a Serbian/Bosnian refugee family that lived near me for a few years. I was curious about the events that led them to leave their country. This conflict caused 2 million people to be refugees.

Ever since Nimeta was a child, she’d done exactly what was expected of her. She married a responsible man she met in college, had two children, and established a busy journalism career—and there was no reason to think anything would ever change. Then one day, while reporting on a protest in Zagreb, Nimeta’s life takes a dramatic turn. Not only does she lay eyes on a handsome reporter who captures her heart, but a little-known politician by the name of Slobodan Milosevic delivers a speech fanning the flames of long-dormant Serbian nationalism. As her love affair intensifies and political tensions build, Nimeta is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew about family, love, loyalty, and humanity itself. Navigating both the new landscape of her heart and that of her beloved war-torn city, Nimeta must draw upon her deepest reserves of inner strength to keep her family safe. A moving drama set against the backdrop of the crisis that rocked the Balkans in the 1990s, Rose of Sarajevo reveals the tremendous lengths people will go to in the name of love.

This is not an easy read. Well it wasn’t for me anyway. I knew nothing about the Balkan Wars and the territorial fights going on in this part of the world. This is not light reading. I suggest that you read some of the history of this area before attacking this novel. This part of the world is a hot spot of activity changing hands and recreating borders many times. The book is plainly and clearly written, but the actual politics and events are confusing. This may sound discouraging, but this is a really great book with action, a love triangle and a war-torn country full of dangers. I liked that it was about ordinary people and the emotions and physical threats that they endured in an area torn apart by war. The novel is a bit of a challenge. I encourage you to stick with this one, because the end is the best part of the book. It has an excellent unexpected ending. I was surprised at the brutality and tactics that were used during this conflict and I have to say this book was quite an education. I found it surprising that these things still go on in today’s modern world. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

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