Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Insightful and enjoyable
on 3 September 2011
An incredibly honest depiction of life as an immigrant family, and an astonishingly accurate insight into Polish family structure. Close to my heart because it reminded me so much of my own family, but accessible to those who don't share that background. If you want to know more about real Poles, not just the stereo-type, this book will go some way to explaining their character and their fierce patriotism.
In brief, Babcia (Grandma in Polish) is living in Derby, England with her daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. She is confused by the English language, frustrated by the different world she finds herself in, and determined to be the centre of attention.
Wanda, the eldest grandchild, feels stifled by the traditions of her family and is unable to relate to the Polish way of life - she was born in England and wants to be English; as a result she leaves school and heads to London to carve out her own life.
Zosia is the middle grandchild and the apple of Babcia's eye. Fascinated by her Polish heritage, she is beautiful and intelligent and determined to be successful. Worshipped by Babcia and praised by all the adults she meets, the bullying she suffers from her peers is proving difficult to cope with.
There are many other characters in this rich story, (not least the eccentric and rather deranged Princess Maria), but it is mainly the story of these three women who capture the reader's heart. So much happens in this book it is almost impossible to write a synopsis, but it is more the interaction between characters that makes this book what it is, with the actual events serving as an interesting backdrop to facilitate the portrayal of the Polish mindset.