Grażyna Plebanek

Friendships and betrayals, sexual experiences and excursions to forbidden areas, rebellion and a quest for independence.

The novel, which starts in the 70-ties, encompasses 30 years of life of Agnieszka, Hanka, Beata and Mania - neighbourhood girl friends, then women, whose crucial moments in life coincide with turning points in Poland's politics. It is also a story of their mothers and grandmothers, the choices of which they do not wish to repeat, seeking their own way in life. The neighbourhood friendship, demanding and difficult, will turn out to be the source of strength and support in adult life. The story of communist Poland seen from a female perspective - long lines in shops, planting trees in communist "social acts", indoctrination at school - shows the transformation from communism to capitalism not only as a political watershed, but as a change in everyday experience and the way of thinking about one's life, perspectives, possibilities and goals.

photo by Stephan Vanfleteren