The Albanian, by Donna Mazza

I am facing the great white walls of Dubrovnik, a fortress-city that clings to the floor of the sea…I stand in a dip worn into the marble step. The stone is almost conscious, exhales its history into the soles of my feet. My breath is distinct, this is just the beginning, I will stand on history all over Europe. I can hardly wait.

Feeling trapped in a humdrum life in small-town Bunbury, Rosa longs for freedom, adventure and romance. On her way to Istanbul, the place of childhood fantasies, she stops in Dubrovnik. Alone in this city already in turmoil in the lead up to the implosion of old Yugoslavia, she meets a strange man, an Albanian. Unsure of her feelings for her new friend, still Rosa finds herself drawn into an affair which seems to hold no promise, yet which she feels irresistibly drawn to continue.

Rosa helps her nameless man to flee Yugoslavia and enter Sweden, before she returns home, alone, to Bunbury. Here she is unable to settle and struggles with her feelings for the Albanian. In spite of her misgivings, she saves up to return to Europe and to her man, but it seems he has more secrets than Rosa can handle.

The Albanian is a compelling debut novel from Tag Hungerford award winning author Donna Mazza. Utilising the familiar backdrop of country Western Australia and its contrast with exotic European locations to explore a young girl’s longing for excitement and adventure, and the resultant difficulties this creates, Mazza weaves an absorbing tale.

An unforgettable read from a new talent.

The Albanian, by Donna Mazza
FACP, 2007