The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return by Kenan Trebincevic surprised me. When I read in another article how his Christian neighbors turned on him, I thought, “So this is going to be a Muslim rant against Christians?” Yet the war was much more complicated.
I remember the Bosnia war news stories, but I have to admit to not paying attention. At the time, I was a teenager. So the war was somewhere ‘over there.’ Kenan’s story reminds me of the Holocaust. The story begins in New York. The Bosnia List is an actual list Kenan wrote down on things he wanted to accomplish when he took his dad back to the old country. Kenan didn’t want to go, but pressure from his father, friends, and sibling changed his mind. Kenan returns to the old country years after the Bosnian war, and reflects on his trip with a much different spirit. I had just two problems with the book.
First, I really didn’t care for the swearing in the dialogue. It peppered the manuscript. Second, the prologue begins with, “December, 2009,” written in italics, and on page 7 jumps to 2010 in a regular paragraph without any extra spaces. When you put a title in italics listing a chapter as 2009, usually you don’t suddenly switch to another year. On page 11, he brings us to 2011 in the same prologue. Otherwise, the reader follows Kenan’s growth and healing from present day New York to the past during the war, and back again. It’s a great story with lessons we could all learn from it, like putting our belief in God and His values first above our nationality. This is not all though.
Kenan shows how some things he observed as a child were taken out of context, and he learns the truth during his visit to his home country as an adult. I really loved how he rounds out his whole experience from war to visiting home again post war. His last page made me nod and smile. What I thought would primarily be a rant against Christians stayed true to his story of how complicated the war became for him. I gave this book four stars.
Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by author to review.