Girl at War – Sara Novic
(published by Hachette New Zealand, May 2015)
Girl at War is a phenomenal debut novel from Sara Novic. It was poignant and a compelling read, and I powered through it simply because I didn’t want to put it down.
Novic is a brilliant storyteller; she weaves such an evocative picture of war-torn Croatia and the surrounding Balkans area. I found it poignant and emotional, having been to Zagreb, and seen the evidence of a country once at war with its neighbours.
Her prose is beautiful and the imagery her words conjure is bleak, yet striking. Girl at War is a work of fiction, but is based on historical fact and the experiences of Novic’s family and friends. As such, she tells the story sensitively, but with brutal honesty, and the rawness of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war is confronting and moving.
I was moved to tears on a number of occasions; the stark reality of child soldiers was difficult to swallow, even though it is, heartbreakingly, a common element of modern warfare.
Girl at War is a novel I plan on recommending to a lot of people (all of YOU, for starters!), and I’ll eagerly await further works by Sara Novic.
Thank you, Hachette, for this review copy.