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A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True
by Brigid Pasulka

Published: 2009-08-01
Hardcover : 354 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
The novel opens on the eve of World War II. In the mountain village of Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon, under the approving eyes of the entire village, courts the beautiful Anielica Hetmanska. But the war's arrival wreaks havoc in all their lives and delays their marriage for six ...
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Introduction

(The novel opens on the eve of World War II. In the mountain village of Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon, under the approving eyes of the entire village, courts the beautiful Anielica Hetmanska. But the war's arrival wreaks havoc in all their lives and delays their marriage for six long years. Nearly fifty years later, their granddaughter, Beata, leaves Half-Village for Krakow, the place where her grandparents lived as newlyweds after the war and the setting of her grandmother's most magical stories. Beata yearns to find her own place in this new city, one that is very different from her imagination and the past. Her first person insight into a country on the cusp of change--and the human toll of Poland's rapid-fire embrace of capitalism--transports readers to another world. When two unexpected events occur, one undeniably tragic, and the other a kind of miracle, Beata is given a fresh glimpse at her family's and her country's, history and a vision of her own essential role in the New Poland. With the effortless, accomplished grace of a gifted storyteller, Pasulka weaves together the two strands of her story, re-imagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one profound love affair--that of the Pigeon and Anielica--which readers won't soon forget.

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Discussion Questions

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1. The concept of "Act as if" was very much a part of Anielica's life, where else in history and life does this mantra come into play?
2. Are there stories from your family's past that were told one way only to later be unveiled as having a completely different ending?
by lindseyschmidt (see profile) 12/29/09

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  "A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True"by teriwatson (see profile) 09/22/10

Everyone loved this book! It provided some insight into life in Poland during WWII. Great characters and quite humerous at times.

 
  "A build that is worth the wait!"by lindseyschmidt (see profile) 12/29/09

I really enjoyed this book. The switching back and forth in the beginning between eras was difficult at first, but the stories began to make sense in light of each other. I was so eager to reach the end... (read more)

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