Poland's Daughter: a story of love, war, and exile
The Second World War -- the worst thing that ever happened. It started in September 1939, with Hitler's Wehrmacht invading Poland from the west, while Stalin's Red Army stormed in from the east. Among their victims was a five-year-old named Basia Deszberg. The Russians shot her father and brother in the Katyn Forest massacres, then loaded Basia, her sister, and their mother into a cattle car for a horrific three-week journey to the steppes of Kazakhstan, there to survive as best they could. Over the next eight years, they'd escape through Persia, Lebanon, and Egypt to find safe haven in England.
By contrast, I grew up in a United States mired by the Great Depression. Europe's agony was America's windfall! I went from hardscrabble poverty to a college degree and a fellowship that took me to the English university where Basia was a student. This is the story of our meeting, our travels, and our parting.
"It's an extraordinary book," writes Irene Tomaszewski in Cosmopolitan Review, "highly original, gripping, at once full of joy and of sorrow."
"Read Poland's Daughter and discover ... a chapter of Poland's story," says Maureen Morris on Amazon.com. "And enjoy the pathos of this delightful love story."
Poland's Daughter: How I Met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy, and Learned About Love, War, and Exile
Poland's Daughter is a trade paperback sold by Amazon stores in the U.S. and Europe, by Barnes & Noble, and by Book Depository (which ships the book worldwide for a dollar over the list price). Or order it through any bookstore with the ISBN 978-1494729899.
For more about the book
Go here to read "We Meet in Caf," about my introduction to the University of Manchester in the dreary northwest of England, redeemed by meeting a girl with eyes so blue they stopped my heart.
Go here for images of the 1930s and what followed, for Basia and for me.
And go here for some of the research that went into Poland's Daughter.