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  • Location: Gateshead, Kosovo, Newcastle upon Tyne

Flying With Kites

Flying With Kites

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: An English teacher is forced to flee her native village in Kosovo during the war

  • ISBN: 978-1910406182
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

When you have lost everything, how far would you go? What would you do to protect your child?

The war in Kosovo has already been relegated to the history books but in his debut novel Alan Reynolds reminds us of the brutality and futility of this tragic conflict.

In a powerful and moving account, we follow the plight of Katya Gjikolli an English teacher who is forced to flee her native village with her baby son after her husband had been captured by Serb forces and believed killed.

Travel Guide

Kosovo War – The Balkans

Echoing actual events, we are transported through the unforgiving landscape of a Balkan winter, sharing the horror of her brief capture and subsequent escape. The flight to a squalid refugee camp in Macedonia is difficult to imagine and even harder to read.

There are a few places of note which aren’t on the map:

Lapusnic – she stays her with her mother for a while. it’s some ten miles from her native village of Lapugovac

Lapugovac  – was a small village, less than two hundred people. There was one shop, a general store where you could usually busy what you needed, and the school where Katya earned a living. With her teachers salaray and the money Ibi earned from the local garage where he was a mechanic, it meant the were comfortable compared to others.

Newcastle and Gateshead – UK

The subsequent evacuation to the UK are vividly portrayed and we share her anxiety as she 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 …you have nothing to lose

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Flying with Kites

Destination: Kosovo, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne  Author/guide: Alan Reynolds Departure Time: 2000s

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