I'm not going to lie to you. When I picked up this book, I wasn't expecting to like it at all. The cover looks like a light, fluffy, love story. The description on the back makes it seem like love ever-lasting. Basically, it looks like something that would make me barf. After sitting down for more than an hour with it, I realized that I just couldn't put it down. A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka is a beautifully crafted book following two time periods.
While the story does, in fact, include love, it is so much more than that. One story gives us the worries, horrors, and anxiety of WWII. One story gives us a coming-of-age tale in New Poland almost 50 years later. Pasulka examines how the past shapes who we are today by gracing us with the life of grandparents and the life of a granddaughter.
Pasulka does a wonderful job creating characters that are so tangible, so real. Her description of setting is deep without it masking the story line. The addition of Polish words is a nice reminder that the characters speak Polish - and a great additive to their personalities.
Brigid Pasulka is a local author and will be visiting the library on April 26 from 7-8:30PM for an author panel discussion.