Fiction Book Review: The Lullaby of Polish Girls by Dagmara Dominczyk

Posted by: CarlyT | Posted on: May 08 2015

Dagmara Dominczyk’s The Lullaby of Polish Girls is an engaging book about contemporary Polish-American identity and an ideal book to read in honor of the library’s celebration of Polish culture this May. The story centers around three friends, Anna, Kamila, and Justyna, who first meet when Anna is visiting her extended family in Poland in 1989 at the age of 12. Anna immigrated to New York City with her parents at age 7 and is torn between two identities. She becomes friends with yearning Kamila and brash Justyna and the girls write letters in between Anna's summer visits to Kielce, Poland throughout the 1990s. Much of the action is set in 2002 and shows how each woman is struggling with loss and disappointment.

The three main characters are complicated women who are not always likeable; sometimes they are vulgar, selfish or cruel. This isn’t a feel good story but a gritty portrayal of coming of age and a look at complex friendships. There are lots of Polish words and phrases throughout the story and the author does an excellent job of portraying the struggles of Polish immigrants and their ties to their homeland.