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” … an elegant, honest and consistently fascinating piece of writing… Goldsworthy captures with real wit and perceptiveness what it was to be, not only a Serb, but a Yugoslav, to grow up under the red star tricolour … a deeply personal, original and absorbing work … ” ReadySteadyBook, 05

“This is an enigmatic and compulsive read as Vesna has the cynical wit of an early Tom Sharpe, or Robertson Davies and, in addition, manages to weave into her narrative a haunting whiff of foreboding … The quintessence of her descriptions leaves a resonance humming in your ears for a long time.” Hermanus Times, South Africa, 05

“Her story … is a lilting, lyrical and poetic musing on her comfortable childhood, her marriage and move to Britain in the mid-1980s, cancer, and what it was like to see her country disappear – bit by bloody bit … hauntingly honest … highly poetic.” The Times, 05

“… this engrossing memoir … This is, in every sense, a reflective book, the work of a fiercely honest and cultivated intelligence … What is remarkable here is the combination of melancholy and absurdist humour … Vesna is very funny about the British stereotypes so beloved of the Serbs: our disgusting cuisine … our weather … and our supposedly quaint attitudes to sex.” The Sunday Times, 05

“… this funny, painful and brilliant memoir …. amazing … relentlessly amusing … incredibly funny and fantastically well written … I, for one, hope that the strawberries of Chernobyl will soon take their place alongside the Lolitas of Tehran and booksellers of Kabul, who broke cover and escaped the fate that might have been theirs. 05

” … this is an exceptional memoir. If there has been a more honest, calm and profoundly moving one written in the last few years, then I’ve missed it.” The Times Literary Supplement, 05

“Goldsworthy’s poetic prose is beautiful … ” Newsweek, 05

“Three qualities make Goldsworthy’s memoir stand apart … her honesty, her skill as a writer and the fascinating circumstances of her life … Goldsworthy’s ability to find unexpectedly subtle connections in the pattern of her own life elevates this absorbing memoir into something extraordinary.” The Guardian, 05.

“… this charming book … She writes with wit and nostalgia about the vanished country in which she grew up … beautifully written …” The Spectator, 26 March 05

“…what resonates most about this narrative is the charisma and charm of Goldsworthy herself. Most contemporary memoirs leave you feeling cheap, like you’ve been a fly on the wall at a particularly horrific therapy session. This one makes you feel like you’ve just come back from a wonderful, slightly drunken tête-à-tête with a new friend.” Scotland 05.

“A national broadsheet serialisation deal is confirmed for this beautifully written book, which is Atlantic’s spring lead.” The Bookseller, 04