In 1992, Savo Heleta was a young Serbian boy enjoying an idyllic, peaceful childhood in Gorazde, a primarily Muslim city in Bosnia. At the age of just thirteen, Savo’s life was turned upside down as civil war broke out. When Bosnian Serbs attacked the city, Savo and his family became objects of suspicion overnight.
Through the next two years, they endured treatment that no human being should ever be subjected to. Their lives were threatened, they were shot at, terrorized, put in a detention camp, starved, and eventually stripped of everything they owned. But after two long years, Savo and his family managed to escape. And then the real transformation took place.
From his childhood before the war to his internment and eventual freedom, we follow Savo’s emotional journey from a young teenager seeking retribution to a person seeking healing, reconciliation, and peace. Through it all, we begin to understand this young man’s arduous struggle to forgive the very people he could no longer trust.
At once powerful and elegiac, Not My Turn to Die offers a unique look at a conflict that continues to fascinate and enlighten us.
Literary representation: Maryann Karinch, The Rudy Agency
Publisher: AMACOM Books, New York, 2008