Deana's Reviews > A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
558368
's review
Dec 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, read-owned, wwii, 4-5stars
Recommended for: Those interested in Poland, languages, or life after WWII
Read from December 13 to 17, 2010 , read count: 1

I honestly chose this book because I was bored while in San Fransisco - I went out exploring and found a book store, a great way to cure boredom. I stayed there for about an hour trying to choose a book to take back with me to help me stay less bored for the next few days. But this book kept drawing me back. I think it was the cover that did it; the cover is wonderful. And I couldn't escape the feeling that if I chose something different I'd be missing out.

I wasn't disappointed. I really enjoyed the book. The chapters alternate - the odd numbers are told from one point in history, the even numbers are told from another - until the very end of the book where the two stories merge.

On the one hand, the story is set in the 1940s during the second World War, in a small village in the mountains in Poland. On the other hand, it is told from (more-or-less) modern day Krakow (probably more like late 90s, but eh. The teenagers don't know about fax machines). The main character in the modern-day chapters is the grand daughter of the characters from the 1940s.

The story is at times suspenseful, at times romantic, at times heartbreaking. The almost-ending is quite sad, (although i didn't like the cousin character much anyway, even after she became more likable) but the absolute ending is quite good. I was just hoping for a return of one male character in particular to bring everything together. But this is probably the better ending.

The writing is beautiful. There are Polish words here and there throughout the book and they really add character (even though I am surely pronouncing them horribly wrong). They are used in such a way that it is generally obvious what they mean from the first use, or else they quickly become clear. The book is somewhat educational about Poland and the conditions during and after the war, as well as just a good story on its own.

Definitely worth the read. I'll be holding on to this one.
flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True.
Sign In »

Quotes Deana Liked

Brigid Pasulka
“[The Pigeon had learned something about [women] from his eight sisters, and if over the years he had absorbed only this one thing, it would stand as vindication that a boy does not suffer needlessly from growing up in a house with eight sisters. That thing was that a woman's heart is not bought by the currency of a man's emotion for her. A woman's heart is won over by her own feelings for herself when he just happens to be around ...”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True
tags: love, women

Brigid Pasulka
“Normally I give permission to take my daughter for a walk after only the building of a wall and a stone pathway.' He smiled. 'For future reference.'

'But, Pan, I knew after the first week that a walk was not the only thing I would request,' the Pigeon said, smiling, 'and winter will be here soon.”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True
tags: love, work

Brigid Pasulka
“If everyone knows so much about it, why do they need to make a documentary?”
Brigid Pasulka, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True


Reading Progress

12/13/2010 page 7
2.0%
12/13/2010 page 7
2.0% "This is my 200th book added to GoodReads! (though many of them are to-read). I got it at a local book store while visiting Berkeley, California."
show 5 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Maria Thanks for the review. I'm going to read the book b/c of your review. I am intrigued, though, by your sentence that you were BORED in San Francisco. ;o)


Deana Maria wrote: "Thanks for the review. I'm going to read the book b/c of your review. I am intrigued, though, by your sentence that you were BORED in San Francisco. ;o)"

I'm glad you liked my review, and I hope you like the book as well!

I was actually in Berkeley, not exactly San Fransisco, for a school conference (so not with any friends, and mostly people I hardly knew). And only there for 3 days - working most of the time so not a lot of time to explore the city. So that explains my boredom :)


Maria LOL. I hate when I'm away somewhere strange by myself for a school conference with no time & no friends. No wonder you turned to a book. I also often take papers to grade. In any event, I can't wait to start reading. Thanks, again.


back to top