I think the best type of books is the one that show us the world of war. Some of the best writers out there were able to give those tragic events another chance to be discovered and to learn about them. We know that we should learn from our history and not repeat the same mistake.
Therefore, we must continuously talk about the events that shook the world and learn from them. The book I’ll be talking about, “Girl at War” is a book about the Croatian War of Independence.
History in books: the war between people
From 1991 to 1995, a war between the Croat and Serb forces occurred. Croatia was split in two, therefore there were conflicts between Croat and Serb people. This was because Croat people wanted to be independent of Yugoslavia.
Today, Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore, because it divided into Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Kosovo.
On another hand, the Serb people wanted more Serbian land, including a new Serbian state. The story is very complicated, with military and regime problems involved, and eventually, it all ended with the victory of Croatia. But the result was disastrous: more than 20.000 people died, the economy crashed, and it took some years for the country to repair the damage.
“Without sacrifice, there is no freedom. Without freedom, there is no life. God bless them who give their all for us.” (Greig Beck, Dark Rising)
Girl at war book review
The story is told from a girl’s perspective. Therefore, I found the book to be very emotional and raw. She will be growing along with the war, and the repercussions after. As you read the story, some historical facts will be presented as it unfolds, so you might want to pay attention to these details, so you’ll have a more deep understanding of the story.
After you finish the book, you’ll completely understand the first line: “The war in Zagreb began over a pack of cigarettes”.
In an interview, Sara talks about how she decided to write this book. She said that after a trip to Croatia, where she gathered stories from the people she met, she wanted more people to know about what happened there.
Sara Nović is American, and even though the story around the historical event is fictional, it really is creating a tragic image of those times.