Most literary sources describe writer Slavenka Drakulic as contemporary, feminist Croation writer. Although I am fluent in Serbo-Croation, I never read any of her work in her (and mine) native language. It was wonderful suprise to find out that even translation of Ms. Drakulic's work is absolutely wonderful: rich in language, symbolism and crafted with extreme female sensitivity. Book describes complex mother/daughter relationship after husband/father suicide. Anyone familiar with eastern European culture knows that widows and divorcees with children are not a great "catch". One wonders if that is why mother in this novel decides to remain silent upon learning that her own daughter was raped by her stepfather. Is mother trying to keep her marriage going, since divorce would be a confirmation of her inability to keep the marriage alive - despite of her beauty, or is she keeping silent in order to preserve a certain respectability of her daughter? Even today, rape is sometimes hard to prove in the court. Complexity of the stepdaughter/stepfather relationship makes this case even harder. So, this wonderful, powerful novel describes the conflicts between mother and daugher in the most unusual way - through daughter's work as a scupltor and mother's attempted suicide. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone.
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