To Be Had

Fiction - Literary
314 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sava Buncic is a novelist, long-time scientist and university professor. To be Had is his fourth novel, following Mantle Convection (2015), Inside Out of Bubble (2016) and Harnessing Altruism (2017). Sava has lived in constant motion between New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Serbia for most of his adult life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

To Be Had by Sava Buncic is a great read with compelling characters. A lawyer who doesn't earn more than a waiter, Boris feels trapped in Greentown. But how can he give his family the life they deserve when there are no prospects of advancing in his career? He is a man under pressure and, after a painful breakup in his marriage, all he wants is to prove to his daughter that he is worth being called a father. He wants to provide for Luna, a daughter who has distanced herself from him — and Boris can’t help blaming himself for it. But when he makes a fortune through dubious means, he is sure he can contribute to his daughter’s life and give her the life he’s always wanted her to have. But Luna doesn’t welcome his new success kindly, judging him and making things even more complicated. Then comes Simona, another woman from Boris’ past. Can they succeed in getting Luna to allow her father back into her life?

I love stories with strong writing and conflicts and To Be Had is one such book, well-plotted with a compelling internal conflict. The author’s use of the stream of consciousness is masterful, integrating it neatly into the wonderful social commentaries that punctuate the narrative. The characters are real and the author does a great job in handling them. Sava Buncic’s protagonist is rock solid, a man who is anxious and who lives under the pressure of raising his standards. His love for his daughter and his desire to reconnect with her is something that many readers will identify with. I found this novel to be very entertaining, laced with elements that create a deep sense of pathos. The writing is fluid and the narrative voice unique. You’ll be irrevocably pulled into the currents of this beautiful story and swept away by its strong tides.

Divine Zape

A law graduate with an impossible dream of starting his own law firm in the sleepy town of Greentown, Boris is a frustrated man and his thoughts about a prosperous future as a lawyer are far-fetched. He lives under pressure, a man who sees himself as having failed on a monumental scale. His wife is separated from him and his daughter doesn’t want to know him. Perhaps she is right to believe that lack of money is the root cause of Boris’ problems. But Boris is determined to change that. So when he amasses money through illegal means, he thinks he can now give his daughter, Luna, the kind of life she deserves. But instead of accepting him, Luna judges him. But for how long will she continue to resist her father, even when her own problems are growing by the day? Follow Boris as he teams up with a woman from his past, Simona, to fight for his daughter.

This is a beautiful story that demonstrates what it means to be a father. It is a story about a man who will go to any lengths to play a positive role in the life of his daughter. The conflict is strong and it is explored on many levels — physical, psychological, and moral. To Be Had by Sava Buncic is compelling, deftly plotted, and balanced. The characters are real and readers will be stunned by the realism that is injected into the narrative. The themes of the quest for identity, the place of money in human relationships, and family are seamlessly woven into the sophisticated plot. Sava Buncic has created a powerful character in Boris, one that readers will immediately relate to; he is relevant and real. To Be Had is a great story written in a fascinating style. You may forget the story, but the characters will haunt you.

Romuald Dzemo

To Be Had by Sava Buncic is a gripping story that explores the dynamics of a family and a man’s quest for acceptance and redemption. Boris is a man who has suffered a lot of humiliation, someone who struggles to earn his place in the world. Divorced and estranged from his daughter, all he wants is to make enough money to give her the life he never had. Luna, his daughter, has associated his problems with poverty. But after many struggles and after succeeding in building his own wealth — even dubiously — his daughter gets even harder on him. She won’t accept him. But when overburdened by her own problems, will she allow her father to occupy his rightful place in her heart? Can things get better with Simona, a friend from Boris’ past, fighting with them?

This is a story that masterfully explores the themes of identity, and the implications of living in a world driven by money. Readers are introduced to a cast of compelling characters, with solid backgrounds and depth. What immediately caught my attention was the way the psychological conflict is developed. Boris is a character who feels internally fragmented, a man who feels unwanted because he can’t meet the demands of society. But his need to be connected with his daughter will push him to travel a very painful and dangerous path. The writing is great, featuring lively dialogues and descriptions that allow readers clear images of what takes place in the story and where. To Be Had is emotionally rich and Sava Buncic shows a unique understanding of human nature.