Book Review: A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka

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I bor­rowed this book from the local library.

Book Review A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Bigid Pasulka

"A Long, Long Time Ago and Essen­tially True" by Brigid Pasulka is a fas­ci­nat­ing fic­tional book tells the sto­ries of two gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily in Poland. The chap­ters alter­nated between the grand­par­ents' expe­ri­ence in WWII war years & beyond, and their granddaughter's life in the mid 1990's liv­ing their dream in Krakow after leav­ing Half-Village, the rural home.
I found the story of the grand­par­ents more inter­est­ing. The golden handed "Pigeon" who falls in love with the beau­ti­ful Aniel­ica (who looks like Veron­ica Lake) and builds her par­ents a new house in their small ham­let before he asks for her hand, only for their future to be inter­rupted by the impend­ing Ger­man inva­sion. The author fash­ions the tale in an almost fairy­tale like nar­ra­tive spiced with Euro­pean / Yid­dish humor which I found hilar­i­ous.

The chap­ters about the grand­daugh­ter, Beata, reveal to the reader the new Poland; while Beata's own life is being put on hold. Instead of harsh rural life it's a harsh city life where the Ger­mans invade as tourists and the only thing the Eng­lish try to lib­er­ate are women's under­wear. Along the way the reader gets to find out about the shap­ing of Poland and the Poles' char­ac­ter through for­eign occu­pa­tions and rapidly chang­ing polit­i­cal sys­tems.
The char­ac­ters in the book are fas­ci­nat­ing, engag­ing and well drawn. The grand­par­ents story is told in a fast pace style –as was their lives, while Beata's story is told in a more steady, almost frus­trat­ing pace — as is her life. How­ever, the author man­aged to make it all work and bring the story to a ful­fill­ing end­ing which won't leave you empty.

My rat­ing for A Long, Long Time Ago and Essen­tially True —  
Zohar — Man of La Book
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I got a note from author Brigid Pasulka about this review — cool:

Thank you so much for all your kind words about the book (and for blogging

about it!)  I'm so glad you liked it.  I'm actu­ally on a writ­ing res­i­dency
now, work­ing on the sec­ond novel, and, as I'm sure you know from writ­ing
your web site, know­ing there is an appre­cia­tive audi­ence out there just
makes it that much easier.
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