A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True

Brigid Pasulka, Author . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $25 (354p) ISBN 978-0-547-05507-7

Pasulka’s delightful debut braids together two tales of old and new Poland. The old is the fairy tale love story of the Pigeon, a young man so entranced by village beauty Anielica that he builds her family a house to prove his devotion. When war comes to Poland, the Pigeon works for the resistance, guarding the town and his Jewish sister-in-law with creativity and bravery. After the war, he and Anielica get engaged and the Pigeon brings his family to Kraków, but the fabled promises of the golden city and the glories of communism prove hollow. The new tale is about Anielica and the Pigeon’s granddaughter, Beata, whose plainness has earned her the nickname Baba Yaga. Now living in a much-changed Kraków, Beata is a bar girl with no hopes of love or plans for the future. When tragedy strikes and Beata uncovers family secrets, she brings together the old and new to create her own bright future. Pasulka creates a world that’s magical despite the absence of magical happenings, and where Poland’s history is bound up in one family’s story. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-547-33628-2
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-340-92013-8
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-0-340-92015-2
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-340-92014-5
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-547-42847-5
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