Author: Olivia Sudjic
Staff Picks: Sam says…
In her second novel, Olivia Sudjic grapples with the effects of childhood and intergenerational trauma. Anja is a refugee, a survivor of the siege of Sarajevo. It’s an experience that haunts the novel, never directly described, but traced through its effects on Anya’s relationship with her fiance. The novel takes us from London, to Provence, to Cornwall, and eventually back to Sarajevo, where Anya’s mother is suffering from dementia and believes the siege is still underway. In her airless relationship with Luke, there is no escape for the part of Anja that has remained with her mother in this endless siege, and this failure is the beginning of a psychological disintegration which powers the climax of the novel. Wise and exact, Asylum Road is unsparing and unmissable.