I decided to read The Cellist of Sarajevo after Natasha's review on Maw Books Blog. Like her, I had no previous knowledge before reading this book of the Siege of Sarajevo in which the citizens of Sarajevo were attacked and assaulted from the surrounding hillsides between April of 1992 until February of 1996. During that time, after a mortar attack kills 22 people queuing for bread, a musician sits in the street and plays his cello for 22 days in a row in order to honour the dead.
The Cellist of Sarajevo doesn't focus on the cellist himself but the hope that his music brings to people while being surrounded by such violence and despair, where everyday occurrences like crossing the street, finding food and water for their family is fraught with danger.
It was a sad story, but very hopeful as well. Each of the characters reminisce about the Sarajevo before they knew before the war, how differently their lives have changed and what it means to keep hold of their humanity in such dire circumstances. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but I was still glad to have read this book. I felt very emotional while reading this book, constantly close to tears reading about the strength of the human spirit to withstand such atrocities. And atrocities that happened so recently as well.