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on 26 February 2009
This is a wonderful memoir with a light touch that plays with the reader but manages also to underline its darker themes of war and loss, together with the writer's experience as a young refugee in Britain - a timely reminder to all of us of how our lives can be turned upside down in an instant. Without any preaching or whining, Maric turns a lens on our attitudes to refugees and the 'do-gooders' who surround them. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2009
I seem to have been given quite a few books lately which I normally wouldn't have bought for myself. Bluebird is one of them and my reluctance to read it was tempered by the fact that this Bosnian refugee spent much of her time in the UK in places close to my home.

The fact that she writes so well (I confess to looking for a translator's name on the book) must be testament to her own determination to learn but also to something good coming out of the friendship of local people. Her anecdotes are so vivid and recount our own domestic scenarios but from a refugee's perception - and it's not always a pretty sight. The fact that her story begins with the death and destruction in her own country, indeed in her home town leads one to view her commentary of the UK in a much more forceful light.

I don't know if Vesna Maric has the intention to write any further books; my copy was bagged by a friend before I wrote this review so I couldn't check. I hope she does. Her illumination of life is not only revealing but especially lively in its truest sense that I shall keep a watch out for her.
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on 9 June 2014
I recently came across this book and read it in a gulp; its humor, insight and sharp observation made me want to get on Amazon and share my enthusiasm. Although I was never a refugee, I was also an immigrant to the UK and recognized many of the dissonances and homesick moments of shock she recounts, as well as the pleasure of connecting, suddenly, to strange people in strange places. Maric has not only been through a remarkable experience, she has the voice to bring them to life for others, and while her description of watching the rug being pulled up so violently behind her is moving and laced with anger at the destruction of her community and the loss of her home, this is also a book full of light. Like Suite Francaise, you read it and think: yes, if it happened here tomorrow, that's just what it would be like.
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on 10 May 2015
Touching, inspirational and funny book of resilience that gives a real insight into the plight of refugees and asylum seekers arriving to the UK and the absurdity of war that changes one's life overnight. This book lays out clearly that wars don't happen to others only. From an ordinary life in Socialist Yugoslavia to an extraordinary life in Great Britain via the bloody war in Bosnia.
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on 10 March 2015
Was moving, sad, funny and overall a brilliant read, had to read this for my history degree but would definitely read it again in the future.
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on 14 November 2011
This is a great read, sharply told and addressed directly to the reader without being a lecture, just stuff you might (I would say should) be interested in about growing up. I contest Gunnar of Sweden's criticisms, there's plenty about culture clash in here, but there's also a lot about how the author doesn't want to be 'the opposite of the West' and identifies with English ways. That actually makes it a lot more subtle than many books on the topic.
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on 2 November 2015
Required reading for uni
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on 13 January 2010
The book is advertised as being about culture clashes between Bosnia and the U.K, as experienced by a young fugitive from the Balkan wars of the 1990's. If there are any, they are very, very mild. The unpractical English way of having hot and cold water from separate faucets hardly qualifies. No, the problems Maric have seems the general sort of problems a 16-year old girl would have anywhere, when forced to fend for herself. The book is a collection of short episodes, with huge gaps in the story. I read the book to the end, but mostly it was a disappointment.
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