Slovenia: One Woman, Five Stories

I expected to have some choice when it came to Slovenia, but I was only able to get hold of one book, so no exciting backstory how I ended up reading this book. I have not yet been to Slovenia but based on the pictures I want to travel around the countryside, and I bet there are many exciting historical stories to hear. The book I found, I Saw Her That Night by Drago Jancar is about Veronika, a rich socialite from Ljubljana, who disappears.

The book has five narrators, and they are telling their own story, as well as the story of the strong-willed and selfish woman. She made a strong impact on all their lives. There is an Officer who teaches her to ride horses. They become lovers and she leaves her husband. Veronika’s mother, a housekeeper, a doctor and a workman at the manor where she lived, all have their own stories and their own views of the ongoing war in Europe.

It is a short book recounting what happened to some people in Slovenia during the Second World War. Sadly, to be a great book about that time period takes a lot more than this. The stories and people in the book were simply not memorable to me. The most memorable story was the Officer’s story of him not wanting to teach his commanding officer’s friend’s wife to ride, but he had no options.

Veronika does not seem to be a nice character, instead she is playing games with men, but many seem to fall for her. The impact she made on many lives was tremendous, and she probably enjoyed using this for her own benefit. Sometimes it is hard to relate to people in literature, and this was one of those times for me. The book has gotten a lot of praise, so I believe there are many out there who will enjoy it, even though this book was not for me.

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