I recently saw this on the Amazon site to purchase my book. I don't know this person, but I must say, I was so pleased by his or her review.
November 12, 2021
Old Asia Hand
A group of friends recently were discussing a particularly gruesome massacre that took place in Homer's "Odyssey." One friend commented how little humanity has progressed in the past 2,500 years. She cited as evidence the Bosnian war of the 1990s, where the Serb army and militia, in the name of ethnic cleansing, murdered tens of thousands of Bosnian men, raped countless Bosnian women and traumatized an entire generation of Bosnian children.
Some three decades on, the genocide in Bosnia is little remembered and even less understood.
In his new novel "And Still We Rise," Jordan Steven Sher powerfully confronts head on this grim episode in our sorry world of contemporary history. He doesn't flinch. He challenges us to do likewise.
Sher chooses to focus, not on the better known massacre at Srebrenica, or the capital of Sarajevo, but what happens to one family that lives in the small village of Kozarac, in the northwest of the country. The Kovacevic family is warm and loving, if not otherwise nondescript. Husband Elvir, wife Hajra, and their children Amir, Halima and Danis are thrust, through absolutely no fault of their own, from a peaceful idyl into a nightmare world of constant, senseless viscousness. The men are dragged to the notorious concentration camp of Omarska, which one journalist described as a place of ceaseless terror and unrelenting physical cruelty. Few survive. The women end up in Trnopolje, where they suffer constant sexual violence at the hands of guards.
These descriptions aren't easy to read or absorb, but they are necessary to understand the depths of brutality that still befalls our world.
However, Sher offers hope as well. The family escapes the terror. They begin to heal and build new lives far away from the killing fields. They can never turn their backs on what happened; they can never forget. But they can overcome some of the raw grief and be stronger because of it.
Sher helps us understand that process. Yes, man's ability to transcend personal or collective terror is essential for survival. But reckoning with the worst that humans are capable of is critical as well. Otherwise, humanity is fated to witness these kinds of horrors for another 2,500 years.