Anna Baran knows: The teenage years are rough enough. Now imagine throwing a good dose of cultural displacement into the mix and giving the whole thing a whirl. It's enough to make any sane girl become unmoored. Circumstances might have taken Anna away from her beloved Polska
, but nothing can keep her from visiting her homeland every summer. And it is here in Poland, specifically in the city of Kielce where her family is from, that Anna forms two lasting friendships, with Justyna Strawicz and Kamila Marchewski-Ludek, that take her through much of her teenage and young adult years.
Anna's father once had ties to Poland's Solidarity movement so fear of retribution from the communist government keeps both him and Anna's mom from traveling to their native country, and they seek asylum in the United States. This is where Anna is raised, but after an initial visit to...
Beyond the Book
Much of The Lullaby of Polish Girls
is set in the Polish city of Kielce (pronounced Kyell-tsay). The author, Dagmara Dominczyk, is a native of the city and she paints a beautiful picture of Kielce, not just of its tourist attractions but of small draws favored by locals like the Relaks cafe where "families and tourists flooded the place on weekends, lounging on blankets, renting kayaks, and taking strolls uphill to the Relaks for cold beer and French fries that were served in cone-shaped napkins with tiny plastic forks."
With a population of a little more than...