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Winds of Dalmatia Kindle Edition

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Length: 517 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

“This sweeping historical fiction, the first in a projected trilogy, covers 10 centuries in the history of Dalmatia, in the former Yugoslavia. The framing device of the novel is the life of Maria Peric, a 66-year-old historian and hotel owner on the peaceful Croatian island of Pag, in the Adriatic Sea. She’s the doting grandmother of Paula, a young girl suffering from leukemia, and to distract her, she tells stories about the history of Dalmatia and the Balkans. Maria has her own traumatic history: “Like thousands of Croatians, Bosnians and Serbians from former Yugoslavia, I am one of the victims of that bloody Balkan war ravaging the heart of Europe in the nineties.” But in the book’s ensuing chapters, Maria tells Paula stories from the past, starting with the ancient Greeks of the 6th B.C. and moving on to the Roman emperor Diocletian (“still the most important politician of all times coming from our shores”) and to the 14th-century empire of Ragusa, which controlled the world’s trade routes and grappled with the mighty Venetian Republic. The narrative moves on to the Ottoman Empire and eventually to the fall of modern 20th-century Yugoslavia. By pausing the narrative and using fiction to illuminate daily life in each era, Tuma’s dramatization is reminiscent of Rebecca West and James Michener. The momentum of all that history brings the book to the trial of a Yugoslavian war criminal at The Hague, forming the backdrop for a jarring transition to the book’s second half, which abandons history and deals with the modern-day politics and daily lives of a disparate group of survivors of the recent Balkan wars. Tuma’s human insights and her considerable scene-painting abilities shed great amounts of light on a region often overlooked in historical fiction. Subsequent volumes should help sharpen the focus on the modern era. The tumultuous history of the crisis-torn Balkans rendered in a gripping panoramic novel.”

About the Author

Tanja Tuma was born in ex-Yugoslavia, behind the Iron Curtain. When the curtain fell, she found herself a citizen of the European Union, based in Slovenia. In college, she studied French, English, and German literature, which propelled her writing and editing career forward. Knowing the ex-Yugoslavian languages, Tanja understands the lands and the peoples she is writing about. After all, she has lived in and travelled around ex-Yugoslavia for half of her life. Tuma has worked in the publishing and bookselling world, which eventually lead to the founding of her own successful company. Once active as a publisher, she reconciled with the motto "live now, write later". In her career Tanja has worked in various areas of publishing, and had the privilege to learn a lot about the international publishing world. When their kids became independent, Tanja and her husband escaped to the solitude of Slovenian woods, where she writes about wild Mediterranean adventures.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6612 KB
  • Print Length: 517 pages
  • Publisher: Tanja Tuma; 1 edition (June 1, 2013)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D5CURM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,381 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in June of 1964, practically with a Yugoslavian flag in my hand, to hail high Communist party officials. I learned to sing songs about the good and the bad sides of life behind the Iron Curtain. Once active as a publisher, I reconciled with the motto "live now, write later." In my career I've worked in various areas of publishing, and I had the privilege to learn a lot about the international publishing world. I wrote Winds of Dalmatia in English to target the larger international community with my stories from the Balkans -- a whirlwind of various religions and cultures mixing in love and hate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tadellos on July 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a throughly researched and smartly crafted great novel. The first half brings James Mitchener's Poland to mind, as it dives well into the the past, all the way to 6th Century BC, and then to some better and some lesser known periods of Dalmatian history which had been an important theatre not only in ancient Greek and Roman eras, but also in the epoch of the Venetian dominance of the Mediterranean and then the time of Ottoman rule in the vast hinterlands that is the Balkans.
Yet Tuma really comes into her own when she starts into present day story that stretches over the second half and - apart from the leading characters of grandma and her granddaughter to whom the historic tales were being told in order to entertain during her fight with leukemia - a rich ensemble of new characters enter the picture. At first it is a little too much take in, but soon it becomes clear that Tuma has planned the plot really cleverly, and keeps surprising the reader in every chapter.
Intimate stories are skillfully interwoven with the historic background, and it does not shy from horrors of the wars in Yugoslavia during the 1990's. Tuma portrays several generations and thus manages to convey a really thorough account of the dramatic events that tore apart Yugoslavia and caused immense suffering to millions. She follows these events all through to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague, where she examines the conscience of one of the notorious wartime leaders.
The best, though, is the fact that the end is not the end, as Tuma announces that the Dalmatian stories were only part one of a trilogy in which several of the characters will reappear. I really look forward to it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By letsread on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed being pulled in the avalanche of human destinies sharing the troubled territories of what is today called Croatia. The characters are delineated with extraordinary vividness and passion, melting in the backdrop of a tumultuous sway of history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mae Beth Williams on September 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Through the author's sensitive portrayal of the inner and public lives of the characters, we come to know the Balkan War of the 1990s. Ms. Tuma reaches into her personal experiences surviving that period of time in her homelands. As is true of all the best 'war stories' this book is an anti-war anthem. You will reach into yourself as you explore this time period and the people who lived or died then.

Some may be put off by the slightly off translation. Instead I was charmed. Many of the book's characters are multi-lingual so continually making slight adjustments for the non-colloquial English translation added depth to my understanding of the interactions. The book is well organized and structured. My attention never flagged. I hope you enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clara Franceschetti Cancline on September 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading Winds of Dalmatia and am still under its spell. Under the spell of its second part, the one starting with the events of 1991.

The story is a page-turner, human, alive. Full of turns and surprises. And with an optimistic ending.

It is great and deserves to be widely read.

I enjoyed the poetic descriptions and the author’s ablity to make the last Balkan war understandable, all the while telling a story. She explains its roots and origines, the views of the various contenders and points to a way of getting over its legacy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacy Ridenour on November 27, 2014
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Beautifully written with multiple stories over centuries woven together. Gripping and passionate stories of women leading change for greater good. Highly recommended to understand this area culture and history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By juju on January 25, 2014
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Winds of Dalmatia chronicles the diverse and complex history of the land we call the Balkans. The interest back and forth between the modern story of mother and daughter and the historical storytelling keeps the reader interested . The historical background has motivated to learn more of the area history. Without knowing the past we can not understand the complexity of the modern turmoil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cats best friend on March 4, 2015
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Excellent writing; great story; kept me captivated throughout
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Mock on December 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was drawn into the characters and did not want this book to end. After reading the Winds of Dalmatia, I believe I have a greater understanding of the very complex political and cultural history of Croatia.

This is a must read book before visiting Croatia.

I cannot wait for the next two books of the Balkan Trilogy.

Colleen
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