Synopses & Reviews
More than half a century after fleeing the Russians and Nazis, the poet Zofia Ilinska, nee Bronski, went back to the little village of her birth, which was then in Poland but now is part of Belarus. Accompanied by her friend, the travel writer and author Philip Morsden, she was looking for her home, though hoping to find much more -- a key to her childhood, and to her family. Marsden narrates the story of Zofia's return movingly but without sentimentality. And when she gives him her mother's diary, and letters, he begins to peel away the layers of Bronski history. From Zofia's journey we move back in time to the beautiful, courageous Helena, Zofia's mother, whose own family had had to uproot itself during the catastrophic events of 1914. From this chronicle of lost times and displaced souls emerges a passionate, magnificent epic of mother and daughter, a stirring elegy for the worlds that our century has left behind, and an unforgettable testament to love's power to reconstruct and forgive.