BOOK BUTTERFLY's Reviews > Eva Underground

Eva Underground by Dandi Daley Mackall
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Nov 13, 09

Read in October, 2009

It's 1978 and Eva Lott is just your average American teenager getting ready to start her senior year of high school. That is, until her dad drags her kicking and screaming to Communist Poland. He wants to help the local people with a radical underground literacy movement and Eva soon becomes a part of that world. She learns that the average Pole does not have basic freedoms and that their daily lives are downright dangerous at times. Forget about good old American pepperoni pizza, rock-n-roll and freedom of speech. The government is always watching and listening, ready to suppress and control. Most people are poor, with little coal to heat their homes and even less to eat. (To paint a picture for you, bread with lard is something of a delicacy!)

If you were in Eva's shoes, wouldn't you want to hop on the next flight out of the country and get back to the good old USA? That was Eva's plan. Until she met Tomek. Ah...Tomek! The handsome, moody and so intelligent boy who draws her into his world and captures her heart. Through their unusual friendship, Tomek opens Eva's eyes to the sheer beauty of the Polish country and the brave struggles of those fighting for freedom and independence within.

I absolutely fell in love with this book. I think the romantic cover captured my heart from the start! I really enjoyed Eva's progression from your typical self involved American teen to the soulful, passionate person she became during her time in Poland. My favorite aspect of the novel, however, was the manner in which Eva's and Tomek's relationship unfolded. The believable, interesting situations were all beautifully woven through Dandi Daley Mackall's skillful narrative. Alternating the chapters between Eva and Tomek's point of view was a smart move. I think it allowed for a deeper connection to both characters with the way we were able to get inside their different mindsets. If you do read this novel, just wait until you get to the "plum harvest". Those chapters were my absolute favorite. I can honestly say I still carry them with me in my heart.

In a 2006 interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Dandi Daley Mackall described how she based this book on her own experiences in Poland circa 1978. After reading Eva Underground, I could really appreciate the authenticity of the novel. It was evident to me that Mackall had her finger on the pulse of the Polish heart and soul. I also must admit, I knew little about what life was like in that tumultuous time period of history. Eva Underground really opened my eyes. I honestly felt like I was right there with Eva, suitcases in tote, following along in her footsteps. Eva Underground is a novel that should appeal to readers of all ages, with its romance, suspense and universal issues of freedom and hope.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Angie Oh, I loved this book! I'm so glad to see someone else reading it. Wasn't the ending excellent?


BOOK BUTTERFLY YES!! I loved the ending. The cover is so pretty too. I kept looking at it while I was reading it :)






Angie It really is a pretty cover. I think that's what first drew me to it. :)


message 4: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla Just snooping here and now I want to read this!...lol


Angie Karla, snoop away! It's a very sweet and fascinating book.


BOOK BUTTERFLY I really enjoyed and also opened my eyes to a lot of things. I want to get the author on my blog.

Karla--I want a plum dumpling like they made at Tomek's house. :)




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