My rating: 3 of 5 stars
'Anna lives in Brooklyn. But she didn't always. She grew up in Kielce, Poland, where the summers were long and the politics communist. When her parents were indicted for their alliance with anti-government forces, Anna had to flee her homeland, leaving her closest friends behind.
Now an adult, she lives in the US and has lost touch with the girls she once knew, the ones she missed so much as a teenager that she'd sneak back into Kielce hidden in the back of a car just to share another summer.
When she learns that one of them has suffered a terrible tragedy, she hurries home to Kielce. But when she arrives, she'll find more than she'd ever imagined. It's finally time to face everything that happened during those childhood summers long ago.'
I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The story is about three girls who lived in Poland, not all of them stay, however they return to their town every summer. They end up losing contact, but years later, fate brings them together again and they need to face all those summers before.
At the beginning of the book the author gives the pronunciations of Polish names to help you read names throughout the book. This I had a problem with as although it was very good to have the pronunciations, I actually couldn’t remember them. This meant I was either flicking back and forth to read how to pronounce them or as time went on I ended up just glancing at them and not even attempting to read them. Some words I had no idea what they meant in Polish and even reading the sentence I couldn’t put it into context, this left me feeling lost in places. Something else I found confusing different people in the story seemed to call Anna in different names, I do not know if these were the Polish equivalents of Anna or nicknames, either way I just wish the author had stuck with one name regardless.
The author has choose to set part of the book in a town called Kielce, Poland, this I had no connection with, before reading the book I had never actually heard of it. I felt it would have been better for the author to have chosen a well known city in Poland, so there could be a chance foreigners have visited it and be able to relate to it when reading.
Through the book it jumps between past and present which is done quite smoothly. The story is quite short and has three main characters in it, all of these have their own stories going on, they do over lap in the past and in the present. This is ok, however I thought it maybe better if it had been a little longer.
I also feel that all the distasteful language was not necessary in the story and this put me off a little. The author could have expressed characters without the need for this and I feel this should have been the case.
I was interested in the story as I felt it completely different, was it an easy read? For me personally no and this was down to the extent of the Polish in it and I felt I was always trying to work things out I felt I could not get into the book and it was a struggle to finish.