A war correspondent's struggle to leave the battles behind and embark on a life of motherhood.
In this sweeping memoir, di Giovanni (The Place at the End of the World, 2006, etc.) offers a portrait of a love story abloom in wartime. While covering the Bosnian War in 1993, she became smitten with a French cameraman named Bruno, whose charm and charisma would forever alter her life. "Everything about falling in love during wartime, perhaps because our exterior world was so chaotic, was so effortless," writes the author. “It was almost adolescent in its lack of complication." Yet complications soon emerged, and after the pair endured one too many life-threatening assignments, they eventually married, di Giovanni giving birth to her son, Luca, soon after. While Luca's birth provided a momentary glimpse of normalcy in their lives, when Bruno returned to the war zones, he and the author’s love story began to wilt. The once indefatigable cameraman began struggling with an array of physical and mental ailments, including a descent into alcoholism that took a dramatic toll on the family. As di Giovanni reflected on her decision to become a foreign reporter, she writes, “I had chosen to leave my home and my family and go as far away as possible, but I had no idea how desperately I would miss them.” While her role as wife and mother provided a temporary fix, Bruno proved not enough family to make the world whole again.
A plainly told, occasionally exotic tale of love gone awry.