A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True - Brigid Pasulka
PEN/Hemingway Award Winner: A “gorgeous” novel weaving together stories of Poland past and present in one whimsically romantic epic (Chicago Tribune).
On the eve of World War II, in a small Polish village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks. To build a place in Anielica’s heart, he transforms her family’s modest hut into a beautiful home. But war arrives, cutting short their courtship and sending the young lovers off to the promise of a fresh start in Krakow.
Nearly fifty years later, the couple’s granddaughter, Beata, repeats this journey, seeking a new life in the fairy-tale city of her grandmother’s stories. But instead of the rumored prosperity of the New Poland, she discovers a city full of frustrated youths, caught between its future and its past. Taken in by her tough-talking cousin, Irena, and her glamorous daughter, Magda, Beata struggles to find her own place in the world. But unexpected events—tragedies and miracles both—change lives and open eyes.
“A whimsical debut,” (New York Times Book Review) A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True weaves together two remarkable stories, reimagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one unforgettable love affair. This magical, heartbreaking novel “rings hauntingly, enchantingly, real” (National Geographic Traveler).
“With a touch of Marina Lewycka and a dash of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, this is storytelling that gets under your skin and forces you to press copies into your best friends’ hands.” —Elle (UK)
“Funny and romantic like all the best true stories.” —Charlotte Mendelson, author of When We Were Bad