Reader’s Annotation: In Communist Poland in the months leading up to Cardinal Carol Wojtyla’s ascent to the papacy, American teen Eva Lott learns just how privileged her life in the West has been.
Summary: Struggling to heal after losing her mother to cancer, Eva Lott finally feels she has something to look forward to—senior year on the varsity swim team and many memories to be made with her best friend Mel and her boyfriend Matt. Eva’s father has also been struggling to cope with his wife’s passing and he has an idea too: he and Eva will move to Poland where Professor Lott will participate in an underground movement promoting free press in the communist state. Livid, Eva spends her initial weeks in Poland contemplating her escape back to her suburban Chicago life. Then she meets Tomek, a university student working with the movement. As Eva learns the reasons for the sadness behind Tomek’s smile, she also comes to find incredible beauty in the people of Poland and their struggle to reclaim their own heritage in the wake of war.
Notes: The unusual setting of this book provides fresh insight into life in a communist state.