The Cellist of Sarajevo book review
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The Chellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway is a moving story based on fact. It chronicles the few days in Sarajevo during 1992 when the real "Cellist of Sarajevo," Vedran Smailovic, played his cello for 22 days in the exact spot where 22 people had been killed while waiting in line for bread.
In the novel, a counter-sniper, Arrow, is assigned to keep the cellist from getting shot and killed. Arrow is the best at what she does but still wrestles with the moral dilemma of having to take another's life. She wonders if she is any better than the men in the hills trying to destroy her city.
We also meet Kenan, a man on his way to fetch water for his family, and we follow his life-threatening journey as well as his thoughts, fears, and hopes for the future. Another character, Dragan, misses his family, whom he helped to get out of the country. All of them are waiting. Waiting for help that never comes.
Told in a simple but unforgettable style, Galloway captures this unfortunate moment in history in a way that will break your heart for all victims of war.
This book will be released on May 15 from Riverhead Books.
2008, 231 pp.
Reviewed by: 3M