The story reinforces a negative stereotype of Eastern Europeans as drunks lacking self-control and going nowhere fast with few, if any, redeeming qualities. Unlike "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Polish Girls" lacked sympathetic characters and plot.
I hope Dagmara writes another book that reveals more emotional development, hope, and valid reason for hope.
I don't usually like novels about young people, but these three young best friends are complex characters dealing with the biggest issues in life, althought they're having enough fun along the way to keep it from dragging.
"Connected by summers spent together as teenagers in Poland, Anna, Kamila, and Justyna grew up separated by distance but have nevertheless maintained an intense and supportive but sometimes challenging friendship. Anna, who moved to the U.S. as a child, is a struggling actress in an unhappy relationship in Brooklyn; Kamila, recently separated, lives in a Polish enclave in Michigan; Justyna is the only one of the three still living in Poland. This zesty tale of their friendship, the debut novel of a Polish-American actress, jumps back and forth through time and across continents; it has been consistently praised for its vivid characters and its realistic depiction of life as a first-generation American." July 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=655619
This novel follows three young Polish women through their adolescence and young womanhood. Anna emigrated to the United States with her family when she was seven, refugees due to her father's involvement with the Solidarity movement. She first returns to Poland at the age of thirteen, and befriends Justyna, a girl her own age, whose mother was friends with her own mother. Another young girl Kamila, also friends with Justyna begins to write her, and for several years after Anna returns to Poland for the summer, a time of year where she is the envied one, stylish and well-off. The rest of the year she wears her mother's hand-me-downs and works part-time jobs to raise money for her summer holidays, definitely not the cool girl at school, Justyna is promiscuous and uninterested in school, dropping out early to work, marrying young and having a child soon after. Kamila is, early on, the fat friend, but soon overcomes that. She never regains the confidence she should have however and falls in love early with another friend, a boy himself conflicted about his sexuality. The three young women connect, grow apart and reconnect repeatedly due to their personalities and the summer only link to Anna. The story moves back and forth over the years, so their stories are revealed in excerpts, with background getting revealed after following events, and links between events coming to light later. The story reveals the lives of young people in Poland as it emerges from the Iron Curtain, showing both the uncertainty of these characters lives, and the strong links between them. A fascinating tale.
ONE GREAT BOOK THERE ARE SOME POLISH WORDS THAT PERHAPS PEOPLE WOULDN KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN OTHERWISE PEOPLE SHOULD READ IT I UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE POLISH WORDS MEANT BECAUSE IM UKRAINIAN SIMILAR MEANING. IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ THIS BOOK YOU MAY NEED TO HAVE A POLISH AMERICAN DICTIONARY TO LOOK UP SOME OF THE WORDS TO SEE WHAT THEY MEAN IN ENGLISH
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