While this novel’s protagonist is a young Doctor in the post-conflict Balkans, most of the book is not exactly about her so much as it is about her grandfather.
The novel does have themes of war and being a physician. The focus of it is the folklore and mythology. I’ve never been to the Balkans, but I read a nonfiction piece a few months ago about it. That piece and this book have such a similar tone. That region evokes a lot of superstition and folkloric style storytelling.
It was inspired by The Jungle Book, there are definite elements of myth and animal storytelling here. I think the novel is very well written. It reminded me of the works of Neil Gaiman. I like this kind of storytelling where there is exploration of old stories, culture, and weaving it into one’s own identity.
The ending of the book left me wanting for more though, and I think she could have elaborated on the meeting that takes place and still been mysterious.
This was an enjoyable and light read which I would recommend to those who enjoy mythic and old fashion storytelling.
Read June 24th 2012