My Name Is Bosnia
Madeleine Gagnon
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Buy *My Name Is Bosnia* by Madeleine Gagnon online

My Name Is Bosnia
Madeleine Gagnon
256 pages
September 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

buy this book now or browse millions of other great products at
previous reviewnext review

“Who would have imagined that in wartime you could want so much to love?”
Sabaheta, despite her young age, has experienced great loss and violence. Her brother is taken by thugs, causing her mother to retreat into madness. Sabaheta turns herself into a boy to join her father and the guerillas fighting in the forests until the day her father is killed. After burying him in a makeshift grave, Sabaheta changes her name to Bosnia and returns to her life in Sarajevo as a female in hopes of finding friends and a way to escape.

Back in Sarajevo, Bosnia finds her friend Adila still resides in their student apartment with her partner, Marina. The reunion with friends provides Bosnia with comfort and a brief respite, although the daily search for food and water is still fraught with peril. The girls benefit from supplies their friend Adem gets through his position with the Bosnian resistance army. After several months with supplies and fuel running low, the girls dream of finding a way to leave their birthplace and find a country where they can live in peace; however, the price for that peace may be more than they are willing to pay.

My Name Is Bosnia developed from Madeleine Gagnon’s research for her non-fiction work Women in a World at War: Seven Dispatches from the Front. Her research took her to the former Yugoslav republics of Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina; Israel and Palestine; Lebanon; Pakistan; and Sri Lanka, where she collected stories from women whose lives have been torn apart by war. As Rachel Hanel states in her review of Women in a World at War,

“They’ve endured horrors most of us raised in the Western world could only dream of – living in a rape ‘camp,’ having a baby girl killed because she is not a boy, or seeing most male family members – fathers, brothers, sons -- brutally killed in war.”
The greatest gift humankind has is hope. Despite war and conflict, people still fall in love, have children and dream of a new life. My Name Is Bosnia is Gagnon’s meditation on maintaining hope during the worst examples of human violence. Having lost everything except Adem, Bosnia pushes forward into the future:
“But she did not want to dwell on memories; she had submitted herself to the duty of forgetting in order to survive. So she appealed to the future and threw herself into endless scenarios of which she was the heroine – when you’ve come out of hell, it is hard to imagine a happy fate other than your own.”
Keeping hope alive not only provides a future for survivors; it is their responsibility. It some cases, they are the sole remnants of their culture, language or religion. Their survival ensures that the world will never be able to forget. Even though Bosnia does not always see a destination when she looks into the future, she continues forward. This is the message that Gagnon wishes to share with readers: no matter what how large or small the conflict face, people must move take the first step forward. Hope must be maintained.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Janelle Martin, 2007

buy *My Name Is Bosnia* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.