How to be a Kosovan Bride by Naomi Hamill

How to be a Kosovan Bride

Naomi Hamill

While reading this book I wondered how your culture, or the past, can affect your life or marriage? In a style which is at once detached but which also draws you in, the reader is shown, on a personal female level, the complexity of a traditional society on the rebound from a cruel war. Interwoven with history it tries to capture both sides, old and new, without favouring one or the other. A unique portrait of an age-old plight.

Extract

The Kosovan bride will remain in her chair. Although she is not smiling, they all know that this is the most glorious day of her life. Later, when they are ready to leave, they will pin notes to her and kiss her and wish her love and blessings from God. Her face will stay emotionless, of course. She is a good girl and she will show respect to her family.
The Kosovan bride will not be found by her older cousin in the toilets of the expensive hotel, so expensive that she has never seen such luxurious handwash before, locked away and stubbornly trying not to cry. She will not be afraid of what will come next. She will not insist that she cannot, will not, let this man, this disgusting boy, touch her again.
All this will not happen. You will not let it.

Parallels
  • Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones
  • Honour by Elif Shafak
  • Travels in Blood and Honey: Becoming a Beekeeper in Kosovo by Elizabeth Gowing