Author: Steven Galloway
Genre: Adult Literature but I would recommend it for YA readers too!!
Synopsis:In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory.Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth character -- —a young woman, a sniper -- —holds the fate of the cellist in her hands. As she protects him with her life, her own army prepares to challenge the kind of person she has become.
This book was utterly amazing!!! If I hadn't been reading Musings of a Bookish Kitty I would've missed out on this beautiful book. It takes place during the siege of Sarajevo based loosely around an actual event. A man plays his cello for twenty-two days out in the open for all to see, putting himself at risk by death from the snipers that are in the hills killing the citizens at will. I've read only one other book that pertains to this time in history and that was, Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo, which was so gripping and opened my eyes to what these people endured. To help put their life and struggles into perspective, during the time I was reading this I was without power for three days because of a severe storm. I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't watch television or turn on the lights, make my coffee, or flush the toilet. The people in Sarajevo went without power for almost seven years. At times they would flip the switch by habit and the lights would be on!! This was a time when they would react quickly because they might be able to recharge their radios so that they could get news from the outside world. To get untainted water, one of the characters made the several mile hike to a brewery where a water source was available. But to do this, he had to cross streets and bridges which would leave him vulnerable to those that wanted to see him dead. This story revolves around Arrow, Dragan, and Kenan with the story of the cellist setting the scene. It is a fast and very involving read, one that you will find yourself not putting down and then when you do realizing how much we take for granted...food, electricity, running water, music, internet, phones, being able to cross the street and not fearing for your life. This was a powerful story that will stay with me for some time and one that I totally recommend to others. I know that it sounds so depressing and weary but it isn't at all, it's a story of how music connects humans to their memories, good and bad. It's a story of how music brings people together and gives them hope in the end.
I would like to share one passage that hurt my heart and made me really sit there and think about what is happening somewhere else on this planet while I take for granted my comfortable life.
"if we stay they will shoot at us from the hills until we're all dead, and then they'll come down just the same."
"The world will never allow that. They'll have to help us sooner or later." she says. He's not sure from her tone of voice if she believes what she says. He doesn't know how she could. They must both see the the same city disintegrating around them.
"No one is coming." His voice is harsher than he means it to be. "We're here on our own, and no one's come to help us. Don't you know that?"
Emina looks down, and fastens the top two buttons on her coat. She puts her hands in her pockets. After a while she says, very quietly, "I know no one is coming. I just don't want to believe it."
Interaction between Dragan and Emina while waiting to cross a dangerous intersection and bridge.
Raider Girl 3
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