This book came in very unexpectedly into my life. Actually, a novel was recommended by my colleague, a software developer. I read it in less than a week of traveling.
After reading business literature for the past year, it was like a breath of fresh air. Fiction, war, death, family, tigers – it’s all mixed together in here. I was captivated with how modern-day, scientific, & political life is intertwined with the mythical, folkloric past in the Balkans. Sometimes it was even hard to stop reading. And, of course, the animals. They play a big part in the whole story. Often they portrait relationship with people, sometimes it’s just there honesty that amazes you. It was like seeing Chagall in words instead of pictures.
Altogether I was surprised how vividly I could see the pictures the author describes: mountains, villages, zoo, city bombing, crazy gypsies in the vineyard… It all seemed like a parallel reality, yet a very real one.
The book highlights intriguing relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter which are intervened with fiction, folklore, war, death, family, and tigers. When you look at the life of your parents, most of the time it’s just there in front of your eyes. However, there is always fascination with the life of your grandparents. Maybe, because it happened long time ago. Maybe, it’s because you hear it through their stories. But it’s always fascinating and even a little mistereous. Also, it was good a to read a book that is not only about the romance.
“Come on, is your heart a sponge or a fist?”
“When men die, they die in fear,” he said. “They take everything they need from you, and as a doctor it is your job to give it, to comfort them, to hold their hand. But children die how they have been living – in hope. They don’t know what’s happening, so they expect nothing, they don’t ask you to hold their hand – but you end up needing them to hold yours. With children, you’re on your own. Do you understand?”
“In the end, all you want is someone to long for you when it comes time to put you in the ground.”
“My mother always says that fear and pain are immediate, and that, when they’re gone we’re left with the concept, but not the true memory.”
“We’re all entitled to our superstitions.”
Makes you think about life and dream a bit. I guess it would be cool to write down the stories of my grandparents.