Excerpt from A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

by Brigid Pasulka

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2009, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2010, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"That won’t be necessary, Pan."

The others had been easily scared away by such talk, and as Pan Hetmanski stood in the doorway scowling at the Pigeon, he regretted that he had not answered the door with a knife or an awl in his hand to appear more threatening.

"And when will you begin?"

"Now if you like. I brought a change of clothes."

"Now? Good God, you are an eager one. Why don’t you preserve your enthusiasm until the weekend?" He smiled. "And whatever else might be propelling you."

"Friday evening then?"

"Saturday morning," Pan Hetmanski countered, suppressing another smirk.

"We’ll see if he shows up, the young buck," he mumbled to his wife after he had shut the door.

"I hope so. I do need a new pincushion."

The attention given to Anielica in the past year was not entirely unexpected. Some said that Pan Hetmanski had even planned for it. He had always been known as a man with big dreams born into a small village, and though he occupied himself with the modest business of sheep, he had conferred his dreams on his children. His son he had named after the great medieval king, Wladyslaw Jagiello, which, despite the obvious bureaucratic snafus it caused, proved to be the perfect name for a partisan when the war came. By the time his daughter was born, he had raised his aspirations to even greater heights.

The angel herself had heard the entire conversation from the corner of the main room, where she was pretending to do her embroidery. "Who was that?" she asked her father as indifferently as she could manage.

"He calls himself the Pigeon. He says he is from one of the villages on the other side of the Napping Knight." The Napping Knight was the optimists’ name for the Sleeping Knight, a rock formation and legend that is believed to wake in times of trouble to help the Polish people. After being thoroughly tuckered out by the Tatars, Ottomans, Turks, Cossacks, Russians, Prussians, and Swedes, however, it hadn’t risen in some time, and would, in the years of Nazi occupation, also come to be known as the Oversleeping Knight, and later, during the Soviets, the Blasted Malingering Knight.

"The Pigeon?"

"The Pigeon."

"Is that because of his nose or the way he walks?" Indeed the Pigeon was well-endowed of nose, and his feet turned in, causing his toes to kiss with each step.

"Hopefully, it is not because of the size of his pecker," Anielica’s mother interjected, laughing roughly. She had, in the tradition of górale women, become weathered by the merciless wind and snow that pounded the Tatras.

"Fortunately, he didn’t provide me with that information," Pan Hetmanski said.

"And why is he going to work on the house again?" Anielica asked.

"Don’t you see?" Her mother laughed. "Your father has sold you to the highest bidder."

"Sold? What are you talking about? Don’t be ridiculous! This one is just like the others. He will give up before he even gets a chance to peep in the window."

"You can’t see anything through the blasted greased paper anyway," Anielica’s mother said, waving her arm in her daughter’s direction. "But that doesn’t mean that he can’t picture it all in his mind from the yard."

Anielica went over to the window. She pulled back the edge of the greased paper and watched the figure disappear into the woods, the corners of her mouth creeping upward, cocking the bow that would eventually lodge the arrow securely in the Pigeon’s heart.

Excerpted from A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka. Copyright © 2009 by Brigid Pasulka. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Leavers
    The Leavers
    by Lisa Ko
    The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school. A navy blue...
  • Book Jacket: Wonderful Feels Like This
    Wonderful Feels Like This
    by Sara Lovestam
    High school is hard; or perhaps, more accurately, growing up and finding oneself is hard. This is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -