Monday, 20 September 2021

Immigrated: A Memoir by Nadija Mujagic

Immigrated: A Memoir by Nadija Mujagic
Published by Pioneer Publishing tomorrow, the 21st September 2021.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At the age of 19 and newly married, fleeing from her native country and still haunted by her demons from the Bosnian War, Nadija struggles to adapt to the completely different culture of the USA. Immigrant life cannot protect her from her abusive marriage, which magnifies and extends her war trauma. Isolated and lonely, she learns new life lessons, making many mistakes along the way. Can she face her war demons head on and rise above the horrors of her past to start afresh?

Immigrated is an inspiring, poignant and occasionally humorous story of one young woman's determination to achieve the happiness she deserves in the wake of a doubly devastating past.

Immigrated is the second volume of Nadija Mujagic's memoirs. It follows on from Ten Thousand Shells And Counting which I read in August. Though the Bosnian War has ceased and Mujagic finds herself swiftly transplanted to a new life in Boston, America, in many ways the conflict is still raging for her. Immigrated takes us through her experiences during her first few years in America, struggling to cope with unexpected culture shock, isolation and the whims of a callous husband, while also being afflicted with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I felt that this memoir gave such a vivid depiction of what it is like to live with this disorder especially as Mujagic was initially unaware of the cause of her repeated panic attacks and inability to connect with people around her. Instead of suggesting counselling and mental health support, her new American husband arranged for her to live alone on a Cape Cod island thereby probably exacerbating her problems instead of helping her to alleviate them.

I would certainly recommend reading Immigrated to anyone who wants a better understanding of how PTSD affects war survivors and how their adrenaline and survival responses can be triggered in seemingly innocent situations, miles and years from the causal events. Fortunately Mujagic does eventually find a way out of the morass - the princess rescues herself! - through dedicating herself to her education and, particularly, to her writing for which I am grateful because I would not otherwise have been able to read either of her insightful and searingly honest memoirs. 

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Books by Nadija Mujagic / Biography and memoir / Books from Bosnia

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