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The Bronski House (Text Only)

The Bronski House (Text Only) [Kindle Edition]

Philip Marsden
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
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Product Description


‘An odd but splendidly imagined fish, part novel, part reverie. Marsden has a dazzling gift for poetic evocation – and for reminding us that Britain is not an island.’
John Fowles, Spectator

‘An extraordinary, multi-faceted narrative. From diaries and memories it recreates the true story of two polish women – mother and daughter – amid the destruction of a whole culture’
Colin Thubron, Daily Telegraph

‘He is an exquisite writer, with the elegant style, light historical touch and detachment of a storyteller … incandescent … the best travel writing I have read on Poland.’ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sunday Times

‘A tragic, uplifting elegy to a remarkable family. Philip Marsden's work will invigorate travel literature by helping to propel it over the boundary into unexplored territory.’
Rory Maclean, Times Literary Supplement

Product Description

A remarkable, multifaceted story made up of journal accounts, memories, conversations and personal experience, The Bronski House is a paean to Poland, a landmark in travel writing, and a family history – tied together by the unique experience of returning from exile.

In the summer of 1992, accompanied by Philip Marsden, the exiled poet Zofia Hinska stepped into the Belorussian village where she had spent her childhood. The Bronski House is in part the remarkable story of what she found. It is also the story of her mother, Helena Bronska – of her coming of age during the Russian revolution, her dramatic escapes from Bolsheviks, Germans and partisans, of her love and loss in a now vanished world. It brilliantly reconstructs a world which vanished in 1939 when Soviet tanks rolled into eastern Poland.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1013 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; New Ed edition (20 Feb 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00760GG7I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

PHILIP MARSDEN is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including Rising Ground, The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, and The Levelling Sea. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Cornwall.

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I first read this tragic and beautiful tale when my father-in-law to-be loaned me his copy. "This is the story of my family," he said gently, as he passed it to me. I wasn't entirely sure what he meant by this, but as soon as I began reading, I knew. He too fled from Poland with his mother as the Russians and Nazis advanced. A prominent Catholic family, like the Bronskis, their only hope of surviving was to leave their comfortable dwor, lands, and servants. But theirs is another story, and will perhaps one day be told as this one.
The Bronski House paints a vivid picture of pre- and inter-war Poland - a country forever beset by foreign invasion, yet holding on to a strong sense of identiy and history. Against this stunning backdrop, the tale weaves around the author's life-long friendship with the exiled poet Zofia Ilinska (nee Bronska) and their journeys back to Poland and Belorussia, searching for the remains of the family's home and an all but extinguished culture. Marsden conveys the feeling of loss so effectively; never paraphrasing when the pages from Helena Bronska's diaries are more poignant. Zofia's words upon the return to the raided site of her father's grave are perhaps the most heart-rending: "...this whole terrible world is upside down. When we come here to the grave, it's come back up to earth, and when we go to our house it's buried itself under the ground."
This is an epic tale, eminently readable, yet painful to witness. The strength of the people under such unimaginable hardship and loss is both invigorating and moving - but is something that was experienced by so many.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this many years ago and thought it was an amazing book. Having re-read it recently, I wasn't quite as impressed although it's still an real eye-opener for anyone who doesn't know a great deal about the vicissitudes of the peoples who lived along Poland's eastern borders throughout the last 150 years or so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finally at peace 3 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had already read The Levelling Sea by Philip Marsden, liked his style and was attracted by this book. I was not disappointed. Fascinating family history rediscovered on a visit to home country fled at a time of war. Seen with and through the eyes of a young companion. Twists and turns of fortune uncovered, leading to understanding of predecessors' actions and characters. Unfortunately the quality of the paper and print spoiled the reading experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So light of touch but yet so far reaching 26 July 1999
By johanna( - Published on
The language is so poetic and fluent, it hurls you away, lightly and fluffily to a different era; a world long gone and forgotten. It has something of an East European Gone With The Wind theme, only much more concise and fleetingly. I longed for more pages, a hundred more, fivehundred more, in this novel too timid and subdued somehow. Perfect script for a fullblown-no-expenses -spared Hollywood film!
5.0 out of 5 stars Journeys 6 May 2014
By keetmom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
If you ever stumble across "The Bronksi House" buy it or borrow it, but read it you must. I count it as one of the greatest reading privileges of my life. Philip Marsden invites his reader to accompany him on a set of journeys, deeply personal, unforgettably moving and incredibly uplifting. Marsden's writing is poetry, so light and inviting you are engrossed in the tale he reconstructs in an instant. The people in his story are real and so are the places, they just happen to have been the cauldron that was Eastern Europe during the years of two World Wars, revolution and collapse of empires. The social turmoil this gave rise to provides the dramatic backdrop to a book which is a tapestry of life, filled with hope, sorrow, striving, laughter and above all, love. In a short read, you will be transported beyond all the boundaries that seem to constrain our being - time, death and war - to share something magical from a forgotten corner of Europe's badlands.
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