These days war is everywhere – television, newspapers, radio, even conversations overheard on the street – but the horrors of war have never been as real to me as they were while reading S. The images presented in Slavenka Drakulic’s all-too-real story of life in a Serbian detainment camp in 1992 during the height of the Bosnian War are much more disturbing than anything I’ve seen on CNN.
S. is a Bosnian woman, a school teacher in a small village living a normal peaceful life. But when the Serbian army shows up one morning reality is torn apart and S. is thrust into a living nightmare that will never truly end. Through this soul-shattering tale S. shows the reader the true nature of war and man – the endless hatred, violence and inhumanity; the undying determination and hope. A raw, gruesome series of images assault the reader page after page, but the S.’ determination to believe, to hope, and to ultimately survive carry you through and helps you learn the evil that so many gave their lives to defeat.
America fought in the Bosnian War, but we did it from the skies with bombs and care packages, never getting close enough to get a good look. The real story of what was actually happening over there never reached the American public. Now, for those courageous and curious enough to wonder what it was all about, S. brings the experience to life from the inside. Before reading S. I did not really know why we had gotten involved in the Bosnian War, now I wish we had done more.