1939, Europe is in turmoil. Nazism, Fascism and Communism are in full swing. When xenophobia and antisemitism reach the tiny community of Sveti Mihael in the Julian March no one, least of all the foreign priest sent there to look after that congregation, is able to stop the catastrophes waiting to happen. After the death of her mother, a fourteen-year-old girl arrives in this village. She has been whisked away from her home on a small mountain in Slovenia, by her aunt. The girl experiences a deep sense of exile and displacement. Despite the kindness of those around her, the great longing for the place of her birth will not leave her. With this great yearning in her heart, she flees Sveti Mihael and ends in Ljubljana looking after the child of a professional couple. A series of events, including the declaration of war and the Italian occupation, force her to leave the family, seeking refuge in her home on the mountain, unaware of the dangers ahead.
As meticulously researched as all of Drofenik’s previous works, Big Oak on Little Mountain is a gripping and moving novel about exile, war and the consequences of individual choices.