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The Scent of Rain in the Balkans Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Kuic has courageously plunged into an unusual topic, one which has not been touched upon in Yugoslav literature so far. In her attempt to show the destiny of a Sephardic Jewish family living on Bosnian soil, in Sarajevo, the author has gone much further: she shows the inevitability of historical developments; she paints history as a monster who continually returns in cycles, but also as a joker who readily changes the colours of its mosaic pieces. - David Albahari, writer, Belgrade It is not Jewish, it is not Yugoslav. It is about all people, and it is about the importance of family, told in a tough-minded way by a woman whose ancestors were survivors. The Scent of Rain in the Balkans is universal. - Jeanne Smoot, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina, USA ... an exciting chronicle of a world apart, recounted in a readable, fluent, natural style, but not lacking in thoroughness... One of those novels that the reader cannot put down. - I. Mandic, literary critic NIN, 1987
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What it's about: The five sisters and two brothers of the Salom family, Sephardic Jews who settled in Sarajevo.
The history of Yugoslavia between 1914 and 1945. The customs and culture of the people in the region--the Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and Muslims who populate the area and provide its personality and prejudices. The reaction of the peoples of Yugoslavia to fascism and the Nazi invasion. The importance of the individual and the inevitability of history. And more. The skin of these topics is supported by the bones and blood and heartbeat of people the reader comes to know as well as family members and to care about as though they were family members. It's at the same time entertaining, enlightening, enchanting, and entrancing. Read this book!
The novel, which won a 'Golden Quill Award' might well be brilliant in its original Serbian, but this brilliance has been lost in translation. Sadly, the English used in the translation marred my enjoyment of this potentially fascinating historical novel, and dampened my enthusiasm to read any further.