Well-Written, Enjoyable Read, - Liked It!
This is the story of a couple who fled war-devastated Sarajevo to make a new life for themselves in Philadelphia, PA. The marriage soon founders, though, as Josef takes off for Las Vegas, abandoning his family in search of easy money. This leaves Rija, her mother and their young daughter to fend for themselves, encountering hardships common to the immigrant experience. Rija takes a job cleaning offices. Money is tight, but she's determined to provide for her family and improve herself. When she isn't at work, she's attending classes to become a paralegal, and cares for her mother and daughter.
One day, Josef shows back up at the door, driving a stolen car and on the run from some gambling debts. Rija reluctantly takes him back, but the tenuous peace is soon shattered as Josef searches again for easy money, this time working for the Russian Mafia. Josef weaves together an assortment of lies and half-truths that doesn't fool his wife, who eventually realizes that she must make a choice between the much-needed money and support that Josef provides versus the peace of mind and her own chance at the American dream that she could attain without him.
I had trouble putting this book down! I felt that I was right alongside this family, in their apartment and involved in their decisions. The character development is excellent. I wanted to hold Rija's hand and yell at Josef. This is a very impressive first book and the author shows real writing talent. It's even well-edited with almost no grammatical errors - impressive for an indie book. I will definitely be watching for more books from this author.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to read and provide a fair and honest review.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)