The moment in which the Croatian soldier Josip Matijević, who fought in the Croatian War of Independence, enters the psychiatrist’s office, and decides to confide in the young doctor Grgur Romić - that is one of those turning points in a life of a person when he or she chooses to change. Josip Matijević had defended Osijek and Vukovar and survived the Serbian concentration camps. He is a man who cannot accept injustice, burdened by the family heritage and the everyday political situation. Dr Romić is different, young, inexperienced, an adopted child. Not recognized by his colleagues, he wants to prove himself or to escape. The conversations which blur the distinction between the doctor and the patient expose the true depth of traumas which demonically possess the Croatian society, already burdened by the divisions new and old, open wounds, crime and punishment.
Skilfully combining the contemporary with the biblical motifs of the punishment and persecution, Yom Kippur by Ivana Šojat-Kuči is a novel of epic power, and deeply lyrical in its individual tragedies. When will the Day of Atonement dawn on us, and should we not reconcile with ourselves first to be able to look into the eyes of others – to name only a couple of questions discussed by the author.
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