Thursday, March 15, 2012


So it has been 80 for the last 3 days. In DC. In mid March. I've had to put the A/C on at night and have shorts on. I'm as tired of winter as the next person, but 80 just feels like too much too soon. I like a few weeks of mild temperatures before we go straight into full on summer. Plus, if it's 80 in mid-March, I fear what August is going to be like.

Ismail Kadare's Broken April is a fantastic novel. So apparently in the mountain regions of Albania, there are these blood feuds. The Kanun, the local code, permits murder to avenge murder if certain conditions are followed. So what winds up happening is that families engaged in a blood feud take turns killing members of the other's family. The hero, Gjorg, kills a member of the rival family to avenge his own brother's murder. This takes place in mid-March. The Kanun provides for a 30 day truce before Gjorg is allowed to be murdered by the other family. The book is about this last month, where he travels around and basically gets ready for his death. I loved reading about the customs and traditions of the people, and the descriptions in this book were just so beautiful. You could feel the end of winter chill and the little warmth that was beginning spring. The book seemed unseasonable to me because usually spring is the time where new things start to grow, but Gjorg is getting ready to die. He's dreading mid April when the truce ends and the other family is allowed to ambush and kill him.

I just loved this book. I'm surprised that my local library didn't have it. I would recommend this to anyone.

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