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Reconnaissance

by Kapka Kassabova

Nadejda backpacks around New Zealand in the surreal haze of summer. A deep and personal tour - a journey into memory and family myth. Not an easy read but still the best book by a Bulgarian author I've ever read.

Extract

Dad knew, and so we packed up, took some food and clothes, threw them in an old leather bag, and waited until midnight. We turned all the lights in the house off so we didn't arouse suspicion, and we sat in the dark kitchen. Mum didn't shed a tear ... Ana was in bed of course. But when we were leaving, Mum woke her up and brought her into the kitchen to say goodbye. She was half asleep and grumpy. Dad lifted her up and squeezed her to his chest, kissing the little head with his eyes tightly closed. I kissed her on the cheeks then kissed Mum goodbye. She couldn't speak. She just stood at the door for a few seconds, like a white ghost in the doorway. Little copper-haired Ana was holding onto her skirt and waving happily. I waved to her too, and smiled.

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