Five Stars for Jurich’s credible, compassionate, and courageous coming of age novel
Be ready to cry when reading this exquisitely written story. War is a tragic scourge on humanity, damaging all that is good. The conflicts that occurred in the former Yugoslav Republic beginning with Slovenia, then Croatia, and into Bosnia Herzegovina ruined the lives of so many innocent people.
Jurich’s appropriately titled novel “Remember Me,” written in the first person is told from the point of view of protagonist Selma Jovanovic, who details what happened in the Balkans in the early 1990s. In particular, Selma’s story reads as a first hand account of an ordinary teenaged girl growing up in a Bosnian village. Her life and the lives of families around her were forever impacted by what happens when human beings intentionally mean harm.
In the story’s beginning, Selma shares her hopes and dreams. Hers were no different than any teenaged girl’s would be while coming of age, but in May of 1992 in Bosnia Herzegovina and the village of Prijedor, where Selma grew up, everything changed. People changed. The neighbors whom she trusted and went to school with took sides. People were abused and murdered for reasons that even they couldn’t understand.
When the conflict was over, the damage left in its path remained. “Remember Me” is an important story that fortunately at the end, left me with a warm feeling of hope. In the story, Selma makes decisions in her life that caused me to think differently about innocence and justice. This story needed to be told so that people throughout the world would know why it is so important to remember who gets hurt when government fails and nations fight. Readers will discover that Jurich writes with the credibility and authenticity of a person who witnessed and experienced what took place in the Balkan countries during the 1990s.