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Sara Nović’s GIRL AT WAR

Firstly the comparison is completely justified while at the same time telling a completely different kind of story to those two wonderful books. The book opens in 1991 in Zagreb. A city that was once part of Yugoslavia which is about to become the capital of Croatia as civil war erupts. Ana Jurić is ten years-old and the story is told through her eyes as the collapse of communism soon turns to a confusing and violent war.

Ana is like any ten year-old. She wants to play with her best friend Luka and the effects of the war are more intriguing than dangerous. The sandbags and other equipment are new areas to explore and play and the constant air raids are exciting. But when Ana’s baby sister gets sick the effects of the war and the new borders it has created become all too apparent. Ana has to grow up fast. Faster than she wants. Faster than anyone should have to.

Sara Nović’s writing is incredible and she completely shattered me a quarter of the way into the book. She also structures her story perfectly jumping backward and forward from the war in 1991 to ten years later and its lasting aftereffects. This is a coming-of-age story which happens far too early. It is about how history defines us and haunts us. It is about trying to make sense of an unexplainable conflict and how in war innocence is so easily lost.

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ISBN: 9781408706558 Classification: Format: Paperback (234mm x 153mm x mm) Pages: 336 Imprint: Little Brown Publisher: Little Brown Book Group Publish Date: 19-May-2015 Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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