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PHC Book Club
Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 02:00pm
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2024 Bronski House

The Bronski House:
A Return to the Borderlands

From the BAM! website: "A remarkable, multifaceted story made up of journal accounts, memories, conversations and personal experience, The Bronski House is a paean to Poland, a landmark in travel writing, and a family history - tied together by the unique experience of returning from exile. In the summer of 1992, accompanied by Philip Marsden, the exiled poet Zofia Ilinska stepped into the Belorussian village where she had spent her childhood. The Bronski House is in part the remarkable story of what she found. "

From the Kirkus Review: "That poet Zofia Ilinska had a colorful and mysterious past was apparent early on to Marsden, who as a boy summered in the Cornish village where Ilinska lived. Yet nothing quite prepared him for the drama, pain, and courage that were revealed to him when he accompanied his old friend on a journey to her ancestral homes in and around the city of Vilnius, in Poland's former eastern borderlands."

From the ecampus website: "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."

From the Amazon's customer review: "Marsden's writing is poetry, so light and inviting you are engrossed in the tale he reconstructs in an instant. The people in his story are real and so are the places, they just happen to have been the cauldron that was Eastern Europe during the years of two World Wars, revolution and collapse of empires. The social turmoil this gave rise to provides the dramatic backdrop to a book which is a tapestry of life, filled with hope, sorrow, striving, laughter and above all, love. In a short read, you will be transported beyond all the boundaries that seem to constrain our being - time, death and war - to share something magical from a forgotten corner of Europe's badlands."

Please contact Kasia at (608) 836-8632 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

so a chair is saved for you

for the books discussed in previous meetings