Dubrovnik My Love by Suzanne Brooks-Pincevic
Dubrovnik My Love is a page-turning read that is based on a true story. After the Second World War Croatia is run under Tito’s communist dictatorship, and Gaspar, a young man in his prime, is sickened by the corruption and personal persecution. Yearning for a freer life, he risks everything to escape across the Adriatic to the West. But his attempts at escape are thwarted at every turn, and he spends considerable time in prison before plotting his next escape attempt. In his last attempt he almost drowns along with his friends, but he finally makes it to the shores of Italy. But being a refugee has its own set of challenges, and in Italy he encounters romance, but also intense frustration.
Gaspar immigrates to Australia, but even there he can’t escape the long arm of the Yugoslav Secret Agents. He decides to go to New Zealand. But will he find the peace, love and happiness he seeks?
Suzanne Brooks-Pincevic has done a superb job of fictionalising her real- life husband’s extraordinary story of survival. Gaspar was one of more than a million young men who fled from Tito’s dictatorship, and he is one of the lucky ones who survived. Over a million people died under Tito’s regime. Suzanne brings the right balance of historical fact and detail, a beautiful sense of place, palpable tension and a little bit of romance as well. Dubrovnik My Love is a very enjoyable and illuminating read.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Leon Publications, RRP $34.99