A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True

Author(s): Brigid Pasulka


On the eve of World War II, in a mountain village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon catches sight of the girl fabled far and wide for her beauty, Anielica. But as the Pigeon and Anielica's courtship is slowly blossoming, the Germans are advancing on Poland. Meanwhile, in the wake of Communism's fall, Baba Yaga, begins a new life in Krakow. Taken in by tough-talking Irena and her glamorous daughter Magda, Baba Yaga can't escape the feeling that she will always be a village girl. She begins to wonder whether opportunity may only be for the lucky few with money and connections. When tragedy unexpectedly strikes, the long arm of the past reaches into her life. The novel's fable-like glimpses at the grand love story of Anielica and the Pigeon, and Baba Yaga's moving insight into a country on the cusp of change ultimately intersect in the most surprising and moving of ways.


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'Pasulka's delightful debut braids together two tales of old and new Poland. [She] creates a world that's magical despite the absence of magical happenings, and where Poland's history is bound up in one family's story.' -- Starred review, Publishers Weekly 'The heartbreaking tales contained within give it a grim and gritty core...Paulka's theme that the human connections are ultimately all that matter is both moving and convincingly told.' -- London Metro 20090819 'The outbreak of WW2 cuts short the US-based courtship between Anielica and a man nicknamed The Pigeon. Their story is interwoven with that of anther polish girl in the modern day.' -- List 20090723 '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 20090723

Brigid Pasulka is a high school teacher and received an M.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Pasulka, the daughter of Polish immigrants, has lived in Krakow - this story is inspired by her family history and is her first novel.

General Fields

  • : 9780340920145
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Sceptre
  • : August 2009
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Brigid Pasulka
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 368