Escape from Despair: A Croatian Family's Survival is a memoir set among Croatia's working-class during the communist era. This brutal and complex story depicts lives hemmed in by poverty and sexual abuse. Bozena, an obedient, religious wife and her husband, Ivan, a violent alcoholic, struggle to survive with six children under the dictatorship of former Communist Yugoslavia. Dealing with hunger and sickness as part of their daily life, the children and Bozena manage to escape from Ivan. Unable to find a job and to make ends meet on a minimal income, the family is forced to deal with the black market and to escape from their bureaucratic country. Thrilled to finally reach America, the family has difficulty coping with the trauma of their past. The author, Katarina Tepesh, is one of the six children.