WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
I had the pleasure of reading Ayse Kulin’s Rose of Sarajevo a couple of weeks back when I chanced upon the book in the Kindle Unlimited section. Since I enjoyed the book so much and fell in love with Ayse’s writing, this book was a natural progression for me.
What is the Rose of Sarajevo about?
Rose of Sarajevo is a historical fiction novel which is set during the events of the 1990s in Europe which shook the entire nations of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia and saw the breaking up of Yugoslavia. The war that ensued particularly saw millions of Bosniaks being humiliated, tortured and murdered in the name of ethnic cleansing. This book is the story of one such family who lost their everything in the war.
What is the story like?
Nimeta is a Bosniak journalist from Sarajevo who falls in love outside of her marriage. Madly in love with the Croatian journalist Stefan, Nimeta finds it impossible to leave her husband Burhan and the two kids behind. She decides to call it quits. But as the story plays out, she witnesses the falling apart of her marriage just as she is a witnessing the falling apart of her nation and people.
Let’s talk about the plot
Rose of Sarajevo explores themes like war and separation. The plot of the book is smooth and compact, however, there are some loose ends left as the story ends. The main plot of the book is very good but at many points, I felt that it is not given the attention it deserves. There are a couple of sub-plots which are interesting to read.
Who are the main characters?
The main character of Nimeta is a very interesting one. She is someone who is torn between the matters of heart and blood. Her heart says Stefan but she finds it difficult to sever the ties of blood. Her confused state of mind offers a lot of insight into the mind of a woman involved in an extramarital affair. Other characters like Stefan, Burhan, and Sonya are dynamic and interesting.
How does the author write?
A major portion of Rose of Sarajevo deals with politics and at many places, the fictional story is seen taking a backseat. This is where I feel Ayse Kulin’s writing lacks in keeping up the reader’s interest as it gives too much political and war-related information without making the story progress. For someone who likes more fiction than history, this book might become boring after a while.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax of the book is quite abrupt. Finally, when in the latter half the story of all the characters is progressing, the book ends rather abruptly. I personally wanted the climax to be a bit more elaborate. There were so many loose ends in it for my liking.
Rose of Sarajevo is nevertheless an entertaining read. The book has such a unique backdrop as compared to most other historical fictions that I have read, that it was indeed quite interesting to read this story. Even the story of Nimeta and her love affair was something worth reading and kept me hooked throughout the course of the book.
Who will find the book appealing?
In my opinion, the book will appeal to people who enjoy generous doses of history in the historical fictions they read. People who don’t read it historical fictions may find this book difficult to read. I thus recommend it to lovers of historical fiction who don’t get bored by loads and loads of historical information.
Can’t wait to read it, buy your copy of Rose of Sarajevo from the link below.