My Novel

 

I am currently working on a novel tentatively titled Behind the Shadows. Inspired by, but not based upon, my husband’s adolescence in Croatia during the Yugoslav Wars (see Lazar’s Story), the novel follows the travails of a Bosnian Serb named Dalibor Petrović in the 1990s and those of his Australian wife, Abigail, in present-day Sydney:

Sarajevo, 1993. Devastated by Yugoslavia’s descent into war, eighteen-year-old Dalibor Petrović makes the agonising decision to leave his parents and the besieged city of his birth and flee to Belgrade. There, he joins the student peace movement and falls in love with Jasmina, a fellow peace activist and a Muslim. But his stint in Belgrade ends when he is conscripted into the Bosnian Serb army. He returns to Bosnia a soldier, albeit one determined not to kill…

Sydney, 2014. Abigail Petrović’s life is shattered when a local TV show accuses her husband Dalibor ‘Danny’ Petrović of participating in the infamous Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia in 1995. With Danny in prison awaiting extradition and their three children traumatised by the media frenzy, Abigail refuses to give up her belief in Danny’s innocence. Desperate to save her family, she sets out to track down her husband’s former lover. But does Jasmina hold the truth that will clear Danny’s name — or expose his guilt?

It’s my hope that the finished novel will be a complex, thoughtful examination of the nature of war and of the limitations of labelling those involved as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ (which is not to imply that absolute evil did not occur in this war). Rather than vilifying any particular ethnicity – Bosniak, Croat or Serb – my novel is intended to show the terrible impact of war on the psyches of everyone involved, be they victim, participant, bystander or by turn all three.

But to find out how Danny and Abigail’s story ends, you’ll have to wait for the published version.