SPRING WILL BE OURS by Sue Gee

SPRING WILL BE OURS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An ambitious if less-than-satisfying first novel chronicling the lives of a Polish family living in exile in London after WW II. The war is more than a decade behind them, but Anna and Jan Prawicka continue to live a life full of cultural confusion. Trying to keep their heritage alive, they send their children, Ewa and Jerzy, to Polish school, but this only increases everyone's sense of displacement. The story backtracks to occupied Warsaw to tell the story of Anna's ill-fated family and Jan's heroism; then moves again to the 60's and 70's in Britain, where Ewa and Jerzy are going through their difficult teens and 20s. Ewa, with her miniskirts and university classes, seems right in step with the times, but a bad love affair, her family's disapproval, and her own mixed cultural allegiances culminate in a mild nervous breakdown. Meanwhile, Jerzy goes through similar trials; tormented that he will never be a hero like his father, he leads an isolated existence. (He and Ewa both choose rather solitary careers--he becomes a photographer, she a translator.) Each, in time, finds love, though their relationships are troubled. Jerzy's girlfriend, a British artist, isn't sure she can spend a lifetime with his silences; Ewa falls in love with a Polish man, but he has a wife and child back in Warsaw. More torn loyalties. When Solidarity is crushed by martial law they, along with Jan and Anna and hundreds of other Polish exiles, gather for a candlelight vigil. Their connections to each other are as unstable as the country they're honoring, but the message is driven home: "Winter is yours. Spring will be ours." Far too overdetailed, and too underdramatized, to be really involving--but, still, harmless and well-intended.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1989
ISBN: 312-02983-7
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:




MORE BY SUE GEE