From Publishers Weekly
A Bosnian refugee who takes on the name of her war-ravaged country goes on a journey of healing and self-discovery in this stilted but moving novel by Gagnon (Song for a Far Quebec
). After fighting in the war as a guerrilla and experiencing personal losses amid constant violence and deprivation, Bosnia carries the horrors of her past with her to France and Canada, where she and her husband, Adem, become the houseguests of two generous exile couples, and plan their future. War, Islam and devastation of all kinds, particularly crimes against women in wartime and peacetime, play repeatedly in Bosnia's remembrances of war. A former university student in Sarajevo, she uses literature as a guide and a talisman, and the novel is stuffed with quotations (mainly from Francophone authors). Her exclamations are disappointing ("Love, my love, is stronger than evil and stronger than war"), but Bosnia's relationships, including those with two abused wives and with a Holocaust survivor, bring her story to life. Through them, Gagnon movingly captures the transformative effect of war on human consciousness, the way that memories of trauma and tragedy become lifelong companions. (Sept.)
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"Movingly captures the transformative effect of war on human consciousness
"In Gagnon’s deft hands the narrative is stirring but never maudlin."
Quill & Quire