Sunday, April 18, 2010


Escape From Despair:

A long time AOL friend of mine, Katarina Tepesh recently wrote a memoir about her life in Croatia on the border with Slovenia.

She grew up in a very small village, under great hardships. Her family was torn by domestic violence, alcoholism and illness. Neither the Catholic Church nor the Communist regime were especially helpful. The priest turned his back on an entire abused family.

This story is as much about the failures in the Communist system in Yugoslavia, and the failure of the Catholic Church as it is about a family that suffered terribly because of the father being abusive all his life.

Ms. Tepesh tells the story unflinchingly, and very sparely. The very spareness actually is a good thing. Such stories often describe the emotions more than the victims actually can even afford to feel their emotions at the time. There is a numbness that sets in if you are abused. I know about this. If you did not let yourself go numb you would alternate from tears to being angry enough to kill someone all the time and your daily life would not be managed at all.

Eventually Katarina Tepesh's family had the opportunity to come to the United States. How this all happened and how she tells the whole story is absolutely gripping reading. It is all true, and this book really deserves to be noticed as a very good addition to the genre of immigrant memoirs and survival memoirs.

I took three days to read the book only because of my recent eye operation, I have to take frequent breaks for the sake of my eyes, but most people I am told finish the book overnight. It is not a long book.

There are not a lot of non-fiction memoirs from the former Yugoslavia, there is fiction, but not a lot of factual accounts. That alone makes it worth a read, but it is worth reading just because it is good in the first place.

This link will give you an excerpt:

And this link is the author's link where you can get information on how to get your own copy of the book:

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