The Lullaby of Polish Girls

The Lullaby of Polish Girls

A Novel

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
5
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Random House, Inc.
Includes an interview featuring Dagmara Dominczyk and Adriana Trigiani

A vibrant, engaging debut novel that follows the friendship of three women from their youthful days in Poland to their complicated, not-quite-successful adult lives
 
Because of her father’s role in the Solidarity movement, Anna and her parents immigrate to the United States in the 1980s as political refugees from Poland. They settle in Brooklyn among immigrants of every stripe, yet Anna never quite feels that she belongs. But then, the summer she turns twelve, she is sent back to Poland to visit her grandmother, and suddenly she experiences the shock of recognition. In her family’s hometown of Kielce, Anna develops intense friendships with two local girls—brash and beautiful Justyna and desperately awkward Kamila—and their bond is renewed every summer when Anna returns. The Lullaby of Polish Girls follows these three best friends from their early teenage years on the lookout for boys in Kielce—a town so rough its citizens are called “the switchblades”—to the loss of innocence that wrecks them, and the stunning murder that reaches across oceans to bring them back together after they’ve grown and long since left home.
 
Dagmara Dominczyk’s assured narrative flashes from the wild summers of the girls’ youth to their years of self-discovery in New York and Europe. Her writing is full of grit and guts, and her descriptions of the emotional experiences of her characters resonate with honesty. The Lullaby of Polish Girls captures the passion and drama of friendship, the immigrant’s yearning to be known, and the exquisite and wistful transformation of young women coming of age.
 
Praise for The Lullaby of Polish Girls

“A coming-of-age tale of three young Polish women [that is] brimming with teary epiphanies, betrayal and love, as well as the grit of both New York and Kielce. [It’s] Girls with a Polish accent.”—The New York Times

The Lullaby of Polish Girls will make you swoon. Dagmara Dominczyk has written a glorious debut novel inspired by her own emigration from Poland to Brooklyn with depth, intensity, humor, and grace.”—Adriana Trigiani

“An ennui-stricken actress returns to the old country—and to the friends of her youth—in Dagmara Dominczyk’s The Lullaby of Polish Girls, in which solidarity is all about summer evenings under the stars with a vodka bottle and a radio playing ‘Forever Young.’ ”Vogue
 
“Compelling . . . an original portrait of friendship and identity . . . Dominczyk uses a fresh, confident style.”People
 
“In this arresting debut novel, Polish American film and TV actress Dominczyk pays homage to her native city of Kielce while capturing the joys, insecurities, and struggles of three girlfriends coming of age. Spanning thirteen years, Dominczyk’s absorbing story is a triptych of tsknota (Polish for a kind of yearning) and a profound desire for acceptance, freedom, and home.”Booklist (starred review)
 
The Lullaby of Polish Girls is sexy and sensitive, with a raw, openhearted center. Dominczyk’s love for her complicated characters is apparent from the first page to the last, and by the novel’s end the reader cares for them just as deeply.”—Emma Straub

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Baker & Taylor
Moving with her parents to the U.S. as a child, misfit Anna visits her grandmother in her native Poland at the age of 12 and forges an intense friendship with two girls with whom she shares perilous adventures that she scrutinizes years later in the aftermath of a scandalous murder. A first novel.

Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2013
ISBN: 9780679645993
0679645993
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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karenkelvie
Nov 10, 2013

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.

k
KSerá
Aug 02, 2013

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.

ChristchurchLib Jul 15, 2013

"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

Cdnbookworm Jul 12, 2013

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.

ukiechick Jun 10, 2013

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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