I've seen a few critics compare this Polish historical, family saga to "Gone With the Wind." I beg to differ because Countess Anna Maria Berezowska while often naive and trusting is also compassionate, understanding, and kind in both temper and world view.
Eighteenth century Poland saw war with Catherine the Great, discontent among the peasants, the rise of one of the first European Democracies, and a life of privilege and splendor for the wealthy and titled. The Countess Anna's story from childhood to adult spans not only her story but that of her country. We see her change as she becomes aware of the differences in her status and life as opposed to those of the lower classes. As Poland struggles for freedom so does the Countess.
Taking control of her destiny may harken back to Scarlett O'Hara but Countess Anna is not a primping, prissy, southern belle. Like her nation, Anna is bold, willing to meet the enemy and make her stand. The history is rich in this novel thanks to meticulous research by author James Conroyd Martin. You'll appreciate the struggle of both Anna and that of Poland as war rages and heroes emerge to fight for the little country that through the years has been the victim of so much treachery.
Sounds like a sequel and perhaps even a movie are in the works! Yeah!