All The Heart-Warming Ingredients For The Perfect Fairytale.

Love, loss, tragedy and triumph that spans two continents and several decades provides all the elements necessary to produce a riveting novel, or an even more gripping movie or mini-series. Writers tasked with producing these forms of entertainment can take months or, sometimes, years to devise the type of plot that keeps readers and viewers enthralled. For a fairy-tale or any work of fiction to capture the imagination it must usually involve the human spirit overcoming an extreme set of obstacles to accomplish that ‘happily-ever-after’ ending. Sometimes, however, real life events produce these same fairy-tale endings, which is an even greater incentive to keep our own fantasies alive. The twists and turns experienced by Serbians, Marija and Momcilo Zlatic in their quest to find a better life in Australia has all of the ingredients to keep us spellbound.

9,691 Miles to a New Life

In 1956, Marija and Momcilo Zlatic left family and friends behind in Serbia to travel the 9,691 miles to Australia and, hopefully, a better standard of living. Momcilo obtained a job as a carpenter in a factory in Guildford, Western Australia, while Marija attended to the new household. Eighteen months later they were proud new citizens of Australia, but still harbouring strong emotional ties to the land of their birth. When Marija’s mother became ill, she returned to the eastern Serbian town of Boljevac to care for her, leaving Momcilo behind to continue building on their new life.

The Ties That Bind

Marija must have found a new appreciation for her family and her Serbian roots, because even after her mother died, she could not bring herself to return to Australia. Momcilo was obviously experiencing his own bout of home-sickness, as the many letters that passed between them often expressed his intention to one day retire in Serbia. Like most long-distance relationships, the warmth that comes from being close to a partner naturally began to cool. Communication became less frequent and eventually stopped altogether.
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