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This is not a happy book. In many ways, it's brutal and tragic and angry. Scott Simon has written about a time, a place, a people, primarily through the eyes of Irena.
Irena is a 17-year-old high school basketball star at the start of the war. Seemingly overnight, everything changes for her and her family. Friends, relatives and strangers get killed just for standing in line for water, people live in shot-out buildings, simply existing ias an act of defiance against those who want a greater Serbia and their Muslim neighbors dead.
I first read this book in my early 20s, and I didn't like Irena much. Now that I'm older, I understand her motivation, how idealism and hope can morph into radical defiance.
Scott Simon is a terrific writer, Christina moore is a great narrator. Pick up this book if you're at all interested in this time and place, and one young girl's coming of age in the middle of it.