18 August, 2010

Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

I put this book on hold at the library after I read a review on Gerbera Daisy Diaries. You can read her review here.

On May 27, 1992, a mortar struck a line of people waiting to buy bread in Sarjevo, a city under siege. 22 people were killed. For the next 22 days, Vedran Smailović, a renowned Sarajevan cellist, played Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor.

Galloway uses this event to explore the lives of three fictional characters living in a city they once moved about freely, but are now confronted with the very real possibility of death every time they step outside their doors.

I remember the siege of Sarajevo. I can remember wondering why no one did anything, why the world sat by and let it happen. I cannot imagine being scared to walk around a city I have known all my life. Dashing across roads in the hope that there wasn't a sniper focused on it, and if there was, that I wasn't the one today. 

The Cellist of Sarajevo moved me in an intense way. My heart broke for those people who lived through this and those who didn't. Those who died for the whim of someone on a hill with a gun.