Flying With Kites
In 1999 Kosovo, Katya Gjikolli, a school teacher and English graduate, and her baby son are forced to flee from the clutches of Serb militia after her husband, a KLA fighter, is reported captured by the Serbs and is believed killed. After she too is caught and subjected to her worst nightmare she makes a dramatic escape and is rescued by a NATO patrol.
She is eventually evacuated to the UK via a squalid refugee camp in Macedonia and is resettled with another refugee and her daughter in a tower block in Newcastle. The story follows the two women’s differing experiences and how they cope with acclimatising to the new culture.
We learn too about the local population and how they are also trying to survive and make the most of their lives which become inexorably intertwined with the refugees.
When you have lost everything how far would you go?
‘A fascinating study of life in war-torn Kosovo and the tower blocks of Newcastle - riveting stuff’ - The Wishing Shelf Awards
‘Riveting from first page to last’;
‘This book is an absolute fantastic read’;
‘An excellent and refreshing first novel’;
‘This is a fabulous first novel, pacey, exciting and full of concern for the main characters; it drew me in and was hard to put down’;
‘Flying with Kites is an important and moving story ...’
‘This is beautifully written in straightforward compelling prose, it really brings to life the horror of a ghastly, brutal conflict’
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'This being the first book I have read by the author, I wasn't sure what to expect.
What the book actually gave was the best read I have had the pleasure of finding for a long time.
This book delivered a brilliant style of writing that led the reader through the story as if they were there and involved. The research carried out for this book is evident from start to finish. From the facts concerning the war right to the local lingo and mannerisms of the estate involved. It is a definite can't put down read that keeps the reader captivated to the very end.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone.'
'Flying with Kites is an enjoyable read which touched every emotion in a roller coaster type way. A sad story which is also, shocking, funny, sexy and romantic has a serious side to it regarding the Kosovan war. The historical side to the book is based on factual evidence from news reports which if you are old enough to remember ... you can! This makes the story very realistic and more interesting. The author, who through the experiences of the heroine Katya, brought me to understand what happened to women and their families and how brutal and terrifying war can be for all communities. Katya the Kosovan woman, wife, daughter and mother is at the centre of the story and through her eyes she took me on a journey from Kosovo to the Albanian/Macedonian border and finally to England geographically.... but emotionally.... to hell and back. The story left me with a racing pulse, jangling nerves and a real "want" for a follow up book.'
'Alan Reynolds takes the reader on a sweeping adventure that follows teacher Katya Gjikolli and her baby as they escape the ravages of war and rape through the forests of Kosovo to find new hope in England. The horrific scenes of destruction in the former Yugoslavia as well and the contrasting refugee existence in Britain came to life through this writer's many literary gifts. The differences between life in the UK and in the US are brought to light by incorporating details that most authors overlook. Reynolds character development is superb and his plotting flawless. Expect the unexpected in this brilliant study of human character'
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