Between Mountains by Maggie Helwig

Between Mountains

Maggie Helwig

Set during the war in former Yugoslavia and the following war crimes tribunals, this is a story of how war gets under the skin and lies deep in the lives of those involved. In this case it is played out through the lives of Daniel and Lili, both brought together by war and now unable to let it go. A moving read and should be on a to-read list for anyone with an interest in the Balkans.

Extract

Dawn came slowly, the light diffusing through a pile of thick clouds, as Daniel crossed the Croatian border, driving through the morning and eating a greasy day-old burek with one hand while the car moved swiftly, straight along the autocesta. By afternoon he was in Republika Srpska.
There was no clear point at which he crossed the war's front line, because the front lines in this war had been everywhere, had run between the homes of every town, between brothers in a single family. But it was just before the Bosnian border that he began to see the gutted buildings, the smashed walls and the houses pocked with bullet holes, the remains of the cleansing. Abandoned gardens, overgrown among the wild flowers, where whole communities had gone up in flames.

Parallels
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Sarajevo Blues by Semezdin Mehmedinovic
  • Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor

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