** Girl at War by Sara Novic


Girl at War is the story of a young girl in Zagreb, then part of Yugoslavia, whose life is shattered by the civil war and who eventually moves to the US before returning “home” years later in the hope of finding old friends. (Yes, I see that this is the second three-part novel of the home-away-home variety in a row. But the subject matter is very different from Re: Jane, and much of the war stories are told in flashbacks, pleasantly blurring the three-part structure.)

The war stories are brilliantly told. They are  hard to read, since the girl’s family and world is completely shattered, but the matter-of-fact voice of the descriptions captures the blinkered view of a young child. After the move to the US, the heroine starts talking in a similar psycho-babble as Jane, and acting in a similar stilted manner, which seems unlikely, and annoying. Still, the story is haunting.

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