Winner of The Center for Fiction's Christopher Doheny Award
Winner of The Center for Fiction's Christopher Doheny Award Shortlisted for the Del Sol Press Prize
American-born Catherine knows little of her Croatian mother's early life. When Marijana dies of ovarian cancer, twenty-two-year-old Catherine finds herself cut off from the past she never really knew. As Catherine searches for clues to her mother's elusive history, she discovers that Marijana was orphaned during WWII, nearly died as a teenager, and escaped from Communist Yugoslavia to Rome, and then South America.
Through travel and memory, history and imagination, Catherine resurrects the relatives she's never known. Traversing time and place, memoir and novel, this lyrical narrative explores the collective memory between mothers and daughters, and what it means to find wholeness. It is a story where a daughter gives voice to her immigrant mother's unspoken history, and in the process, heals them both.
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