I finished Pretty Birds yesterday. It did not end in the way I thought it would. Now of course, I can’t tell you more because it will give away too much information and ruin it. Overall I thought the book well-written and the insight into war-torn Bosnia excellent (particularly how they knew that the world was ignoring their plight). The startling realization that they are in fact at war felt real, as well as the descent into a weary acceptance to a way of life that includes bombs, bullets, and hunger. Simon developed Irena into a well developed character. What happens to her at the end of the book mattered to me. And he’s done a remarkable job demonstrating the absurdity of the situation.
Also, here’s a Q and A with Scott Simon on the book I found.