Girl at War by Sara Novic
What’s it about?
It is 1991 and Ana is a ten-year-old girl living in Zagreb (Croatia’s capitol) when civil war erupts throughout Yugoslavia. Ana’s life changes in small ways at first, and then her life just changes. This book moves back and forth through time to show how war is forever woven into the lives of those who experience it.
What did I think?
This was an interesting and difficult look at how modern wars are waged... “As a side effect of modern warfare, we had the peculiar privilege of watching the destruction of our country on television.” The story not only moves through time but it also moves from Croatia to America. Ana narrates this story, and it is seeing Croatia and America through Ana’s eyes that make this story so compelling.
Should you read it?
I am sure this is the first of many books I will read by Sara Novic. This novel handles difficult subjects with such grace. I am really surprised this is her first novel. Very impressive!
“The country was at war, but for most people the war was more an idea than an experience, and I felt something between anger and shame that Americans- that I- could sometimes ignore its impact for days at a time. In Croatia, life in wartime had meant a loss of control, war holding sway over every thought and movement, even while you slept. It did not allow for forgetting. But America’s war did not constrain me: it did not cut my water or shrink my food supply. There was no threat of takeover with tanks or foot soldiers or cluster bombs, not here. What war meant in America was incongruous with what had happened in Croatia- what must have been happening in Afghanistan- that it almost seemed a misuse of the word.”
Where is Ana’s home?
If you like this try-
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyememi
Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement
A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra
Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
8 1/2 stars
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!