Survive the Horrors of Battle in “Girl at War”
Sara Novic’s captivating novel Girl at War is a heartbreaking tale of family, love, loss, and the journey into adulthood.
It is 1991 in Zagreb and 10-year-old tomboy Ana Juric is suddenly thrown into the civil war that engulfs Yugoslavia. After tragedy destroys her family, she has to escape a dark world by finding a way to head to America. Time passes and at the age of 16, Ana is a college student in the U.S who is desperate to hide her past from everyone—including herself. However, she makes the decision to go back to Croatia by herself in order to find some measure of healing after the horrible events that tore her parents apart and left her haunted by ghosts.
The time jump from Ana’s experiences as a child to her life in New York shows what it is like to live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While Ana can be a prickly character at times, the hardships and violence she has faced will make your heart go out to her, especially when she makes the decision to return home and put the ghosts of her past to rest. It is difficult for Americans to imagine such gruesome sights and sounds, but Novic makes it feel like you’re right there, experiencing the trauma with Ana. If you’re looking for a book that puts a human face on war, Girl at War delivers.