Saturday, February 26, 2011

Broken April by Ismail Kadare

This is a haunting tale set against the blood feuds in the Albanian mountains between the First and Second World Wars. The Kanun (the code that governs the blood feuds) dictates that Gjorg must avenge his brothers death by killing a man from the family of the murderer. Once he has killed, he will be hunted down and killed in his turn. The novel is beautifully written, stark and terrifying like the mountains and the blood feuds that dominate the lives of the people who live there. There are valleys where every family are involved in the feuding, every man with a price on his head. The reader is given real insights into the area, through the eyes of Gjorg; Mark Ukacierra, the steward of the blood who keeps the records of the feuding and a couple honeymooning in the area.

Broken April by Ismail Kadare, published by Vintage

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