The Lullaby of Polish Girls
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The Lullaby of Polish Girls

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  509 ratings  ·  119 reviews
A vibrant, engaging debut novel that follows the friendship of three women, from their coming of age in a small town in Poland in the 1980s to their complicated adult lives, by the stunning and talented actress Dagmara Dominczyk.

Anna's family emigrate to the U.S. in the 1980s when she is just a girl. They are granted political asylum because of her father's role in the Sol...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Spiegel & Grau
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Eve Frankel
I wanted to love this book--being that I was born in Poland but raised in New York by parents who sought and found political asylum in the US. But there was little that I liked about it and what I did like--the interspersed Polish, images of the home country--would be lost on the average reader.

The 3 main female characters in The Lullaby of Polish Girls felt a bit like caricatures that were not fully developed and therefore, less then compelling. The drama and conflicts that took place seemed l...more
dsneaks
I received The Lullaby of Polish Girls by Dagmara Domincyzk for free through good reads first reads give away. okay I MUST SAY I LOVED THIS BOOK! I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I could not put it down, I finished it in a matter of days and could of probably finished it in a few hours if i had the time! It got me from the start and kept me interested none stop. I did not want to put it down and when ever I had free time I found myself looking for the book and counting the time til...more
Karo
I loved this book. I am not, perhaps, the most objective of reviewers as I am the same age as the author and had a very similar childhood, emigrating from Poland as a young girl and returning in the summers after the fall of communism. But the author nails it. Nails. It. Her Poland is the real thing. And yes, of course, not everyone in Poland is a toothless drunk on welfare. But you cannot have spent any time in the country as a non-tourist and not recognize the characters Ms. Dominczyk describe...more
Jessa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanne Klier
I agree with other reviewers that the overuse of crude words cheapens this novel. What a shame, as the writing isn't bad. I don't think the author is doing her home country any favors by portraying Polish girls as promiscuous and coarse. Can anyone tell me the significance of the "lullaby?" Perhaps I missed something.
Eve Jankowicz
As soon as I saw this book mentioned in Vogue magazine, I made note of it since any book with "Polish" in the title (or whose subject matter is about Poland or Polish people) is a must-read for me. I commend the author for writing the book since we need many, many more well-written books of fiction about Polish people.

I probably would have rated this book higher, but did not due to the many negative stereotypes of Polish people it contains. Granted, you will find these same negative stereotypes...more
Krysia
I have mixed feelings about this book. As a 100% Polish American, who is an avid reader of fiction, I was excited to read advanced buzz about this book prior to its publication. After all, there aren't many novels in English set in Poland. While the writing and characters are engaging, the people of Kielce come off as "white trash." I am afraid that this novel might unwittingly encourage further misconceptions about the character and behavior of Polish people. If much of this novel is based on t...more
Jennifer Didik
Won this book through a First Reads Giveaway.

3.5

It took some time for this book to grow on me, but eventually it did. I had a hard time differentiating the characters early on, possibly this was my shortcoming and not the novel's. I appreciated that the portrayal of these three girls is raw, honest, a bit vulgar. I thought the non-linear storytelling was effective (albeit a too formulaic perhaps). I enjoyed all of the Polish being spoken, even if I didn't understand half of it despite some conte...more
Betsy Hover
I was delighted to receive this book from Goodreads Giveaway!

This book took you on a journey of a young girl longing to find where she connected, belonged and developing friendships along the way. The life span of friendships of these three girls.

I would recommend this book as an AWESOME read.
Judi
The story of three friends from Poland had potential but fell really, really short. In my opinion, the book lacked a strong editor. The plot was undeveloped in some areas and overdone in others while the ending felt completely rushed. Sorry, just not worth the time.
Diane
I was curious about this book ever since I first heard about it as both sets of my grandparents came to the US from Poland.

The Lullaby of Polish Girls tells the story of three friends who met when they were 12 years-old in Kielce, Poland and formed a special bond. Although they do lose contact as adults, a devastating tragedy brings them back together. Anna is the most worldly of the group having lived in several different places. She eventually becomes an actress in the US, but her life is anyt...more
Agi
This book started a little slowly for me and I was confused where it is going to take me.
But it took me okay on a journey to Poland and the USA with three Polish girlfriends.
I would say that if I was not from Poland myself I would find this book not so interesting. Dominczyk took here a big risk - in my opinion - writing about middle big city in Poland, a city where actually not a lot happens, a city not a lot of people heard of. Because the biggest part of the book takes place in Kielce. What w...more
Diane S.
Three women who had become friends when they were younger, but has their lived took different turns they have become separated. All this changes when one of the woman become involved in a horrible tragedy and the other woman are at points in their lives where they needed to get away. They first met in Poland and this is where they reunite. Each character tells their story and it switches from the past to the present. This was an okay coming of age story, there were some things I felt were unnece...more
Juliet-Camille
Dominczyk (herself a Polish immigrant) is oddly more famous than most first time published authors, so I think that added to the press and hype of this novel—she was an actress before she was a writer (she played Mercedes in 2002's "The Count of Monte Cristo" and Suzanne in "Running with Scissors" as well as a myriad of TV appearances) she's also married to the actor Patrick Wilson ("Insidious" and "Insidious chapter 2"). Although the novel is good, I wouldn't say that it was worthy of all the m...more
Sarah
Wow how did I love this book. I have a thing for books set in other countries written by someone hailing from said country. I love the mixed languages and always learning something new.
This was a written by a polish woman who happens to be an actress and married to the American actor Patrick Wilson.
Now I am aware of my hasty dismissal of famous people writing fiction and have been put in my place since reading Molly Ringwald's short stories (fabulously written and u should read them, even if y...more
Kathleen
This was a very engrossing, fast read. An fascinating look at the lives of 3 young Polish women. Two of the protagonists live in Poland year-round, and the other one, like the author herself, lives in America most of the year and in Poland just in the summers. It's a coming-of-age story, but also a look at contemporary, post-1989 Poland and the split psyches of immigrants from Poland, especially those from the Martial Law emigration.
Martas
I wonder if someone who isn't Polish would like this book. I liked all the polish words sprinkled throughout and with my elementary reading skills I was able to sound out and figure most of them out. However it was a tad gratuitous and utterly unrecognizable to someone who didn't read/know the language. I also found the girls for the most part to be unsympathetic characters. Anna had the most ambition, but some how gave up, Kamilia refused to see the obvious and Justyna was reprehensible for the...more
Katrina
I'm really dissapointed in this book. I had really high hopes for this book and while there were parts that I really enjoyed but I just had so many problems with it. The first was while most of the time I can handle switching between time points, but in this book, it just kind of drove me nuts, especially with keeping track of three character view points. I also felt there were details left out that left the girls' stories incomplete, especially in Anna's story and it just left me hanging a bit....more
Irene
The Polish words sprinkled throughout the book brought back so many memories of growing up in a household where my parents talked to us children in Polish and we answered in English. I don't normally like to read novels, but this was really good. Adventures of three friends growing up and where their lives landed up.
Terry
My first reaction was disappointment to see the book was so short because I assumed that there wouldn't be enough time to develop the characters sufficiently. I usually prefer much longer novels.

The image on the cover of 3 young girls at an "Alice in Wonderland" tea party was amusing and thought provoking. I wondered how that image tied into the story. I read the one page pronunciation guide to Polish - you'll need to keep that handy or skip all the Polish vocabulary.

Then I launched into the f...more
Brianna
Apr 22, 2013 Brianna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young women
I received this book through the FirstReads giveaway and I was delighted to give it a chance. I followed three young women from their teens into adulthood. It's a reminder that times change and people change.

This book is by no means "sweet". It's real. Love it.
Lauren Hopkins
Beautiful and tragic coming of age story centered on the lives of three Polish girls from Kielce who spend their summers together as teenagers and then drift apart before being reunited in the midst of a shocking event. The author is the definition of "write what you know"; I don't think anyone who didn't grow up in 1990s Poland could have painted a picture of romanticized teenage small town life there as well as she does in this book. She also creates three unique characters, switching the stor...more
Benny Wilkinson
The Lullaby of Polish Girls offers three different views of growing up Polish. Anna's family fled Poland when she was young and started a new life in America, so she only experiences her hometown of Kielce in brief summer visits during the 1990s, where she forms lasting friendships with Kamila and Justyna, but spends most of her time in the U.S. pursuing her acting dream. Kamila is insecure, envious of the other two for their confidence or their beauty, but remains ever-optimistic that she'll ev...more
Gretel
A very average read. I am still trying to think what the lullaby is and whether I missed anything. Dominczyk has given the book a good structure; the plot flits back and forth to the girls' childhood and teenage years and the present day, and I thought this was done well. There are some interesting anecdotes in the story, but Dominczyk throws far too much vulgarity into the story. As many other reviewers have mentioned, the crude language cheapens the writing. I wanted more of an exploration of...more
Penguin
Many thanks to Random House and Ms. Selby McRae to this wonderful novel which I won through Goodreads giveaway.

Ms. Dominczyk has written a very enjoyable story that combines the immigrant experience and connections to the homeland with the angst of young women finding their way. The developing dynamic between the three main characters with their very dissimilar personalities and circumstances is well done. I appreciated the intensity and depth of the complex characters. Their lives are painful,...more
Alexandra Tobor
Awkward, depressing and pointless.
Alicia
Focusing on three girl friends who went separate ways after meeting and growing up in Poland, Dominczyk, focuses on their relationships, friendships, and lives, especially after being apart, which include the usual growing pains-- sexual identity, love/relationships, family, fame/fortune, opportunity, and the like. It spans several decades and paints the picture of both Poland and the United States.

Amid the vibrantly unusual and intriguing writing, tragedy's unfold-- the murder of one husband,...more
Leah
When I heard about Dagmara Dominczyk’s (it’s taken me ages to get the spelling of her second name correct, but I have sussed it) debut novel The Lullaby of Polish Girls, I was intrigued by the sound of it. Much like the first chapter in the book, where Anna and Ben are chatting in bed and Anna is chuffed Ben now knows so much about Poland, I know very little about Poland, but I was intrigued to learn more, intrigued to know more about the place Robert Kubica (a Formula One driver) was born, and...more
Violette
It could be because I, myself, am a Polish girl, but I truly loved this book. Although it took a little effort to get into it, the payoff was certainly worth it.

Beautiful, broken girls take the stage in Dominczyk's debut. Anna, Justyna, and Kamila have been friends on and off for years. Joining forces during summer vacations in Poland, they formed a lasting bond that takes the reader on a disjointed journey into who these girls were and the women they had become. Each of them is dealt a differen...more
Gabi Coatsworth
I found this book interesting, and not just because I'm half Polish. It's an unusual novel, in that it's a coming of age story of three Polish girls and the story is told from alternating points of view and during different time periods. Thia can be a little confusing because the story goes back and forth in time. I believe some readers have complained about the language used in the novel, but I felt it reflected the character of the person using it, and wasn't gratuitous. Some readers of Polish...more
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“You know who else had a kid when she was a teenager? Holy fucking Mary, Mother of God! And that shit turned out fine, that shit saved the world, didn't it now?” 0 likes
“apart and it will always be your job to put them back together.” There are countless instances of things falling” 0 likes
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