Twenty-nine stories from besieged Sarajevo. Mr Ivo rips up his rose garden to dig a well that provides water to his whole neighborhood. A family sits in their small candlelit apartment waiting for a young man to return. A gravedigger uses a pack of cigarettes to try to explain why life under siege is like a festival.
The stories are very short, often as little as three of four pages, and written in simple, accessible language. They are almost all from civilian perspectives, and though the war is often the catalyst for conflict, it is not always central.
Jergovic shows admirable restraint in his use of violence and horror, often a crutch for war writing. Instead, he engages the reader by exploring universal themes on human nature, and making one of the greatest tragedies of recent history shockingly mundane and relatable.