Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving tale of Polish displacement during two world wars, 16 Aug 2001
This review is from: The Bronski House (Hardcover)
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. "Polot" is a Polish term with no direct English translation that perfectly describes the manner in which these tragedies were suffered - "appearing to fly through hardship!" as Zofia explains. It is the same "polot" that showed when the Polish calvary rode their horses at the German Panzer division in 1939, and the same "polot" that made them play Chopin though speakers in the streets when the Nazis flushed out "the last pockets of resistance" in Warsaw.
This is a great book about a great people, and I feel all the more proud that I shall soon be marrying into a family with such a history. Read it, and think. Zofia felt that they had lead a charmed life. What is ours in comparison?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars ... this many years ago and thought it was an amazing book. Having re-read it recently, 10 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Bronski House (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Finally at peace, 3 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Bronski House (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Bronski House
The Bronski House by Philip Marsden (Paperback - 22 July 2005)
£9.46
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews