May, 1992. Hana is 12 years old when her older sister Atka puts her on a UN evacuation bus fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Thinking they will be apart for a short time, they make a promise to each other to be brave. But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, while Atka and their younger siblings battle for survival in a city overwhelmed by crime and destruction. Then, when Atka manages to find work as a translator, events take an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.
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A moving story of love and war
I have always been fascinated by Sarajevo, for the simple reason that I was growing up during the time of this war and was too little to really understand what happened and why. This book explains the conflict, the deprivations, and the love between two sisters in straight-forward prose, not sugar-coating anything, but also detailing the glimmers of hope during hard lives as a near vaptive in a besieged city and a refuge in another country.
Atka and Hana... beyond them, there were so many good people who assisted the girls, it is hard to pick just one.
Just okay... Another note, I suppose, was that since two first-person narratives were contained in this book, I really think two narrators should have read it. I never really got confused, but there was little intonation or accent (this narrator can and has done better).
The ending... no spoilers, I promise!
This book is a worthwhile biography. Perhaps it is better to read in print, perhaps not... but I enjoyed it enough to hang on to it in my audio library, because of its personal and moving nature.
Good story - close in time and place