Customer Reviews

40
4.5 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I was very impressed with Leslie Pietrzyk's Pears On A Willow Tree. It is a story of several generations of women from a Polish-Ameican family but it could just as well have been about people from almost any immigrant culture. The book is well written, well paced, and a joy to read. I read it in two evenings because I wanted to see how things turned out. Ms. Pietrzyk has a very good sense of dialouge and an economical style that adds to the enjoyment of the book. The characters and their relationships are real and well developed. Almost everyone I have talked to who has read the book said that they were reminded of their own family experiences. In that sense Ms. Pietrzyk has capture something universal. I hesitate to say more because I don't want to give away any of the story. Buy the book. You won't be disappointed.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This story is about the closeness, the struggles, the traditions, and the Americanization of 4 generations of Polish women. This book brought back so many of my childhood memories of learning from my Polish "bubchi"/grandmother. I loved this book for that reason because my Polish mother passed away when I was 6 and my new stepmother a few years later would not allow any contact. I devoured this book! It was like a trip back in time. I forgot all about the traditional Christmas meal and the strict Catholic core. I can't say enough about this book. It's a great story to read and anyone can relate to it since America is made up of lots and lots of immigrants. A lot of the book is actually about the new generations wanting to "be different" and break away from tradition, wanting to be "themselves" and not just an extention of mom, grandmom, or great-grandmom. But it's hard to escape something when it's a part of a person and this book is about about that trip.
And to the author......Thank you for writing this book. You gave things back to me that I didn't even know I lost. I can hear my grandmother's broken English, I can smell her cooking, I can feel her love for me. Like the book says...I'm a Polish daughter.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This generational study of a Polish family and the women and their daughters is a charmer. Easy to read,thought provoking and good character development. The Marchewka women are inseparable. They value the gathering of family and cooking traditional Polish foods. But as the story grows we find the newer generations culturally removed from thier mothers and grandmothers as Polish immigrants. A close look into family life in general, although this family is Polish by immigration the struggles and heartbreaks are really about "every" family. Highly recommend !!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Pears on a Willow Tree, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys good literature that's fun to read. Pears on a Willow Tree is about four generations of Polish American women, but it's not just about being polish or being a woman. It's about life, the American experience, and the importance of lasting cultural traditions.
The book opens with one of the characters remembering an earlier time when her grandfather photographed her with her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. From there, each subsequent chapter itself is snapshot of family history from the intimate perspectives of each character. I was pleasantly surprised with this unique organizational style. Its creativity kept my interest to the very end.
Ms. Pietrzyk gently guides the reader through a narrative that addresses the challenges that life has in store for us all: growing up, getting old, and dealing with the loss of a loved one. This novel reminded me about what's really important in life.
I think this book is well worth the time, and it may one day take its place as a classic in American literature.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book for women who have struggled with their relationship with their mothers & their "feminine" heritage. That pretty much covers all women doesn't it? The story is scattered at times, as voices from differents times and eras appear and reappear. Once you detect the rhythym, it's a lovely book. Not all the characters are likeable. The men are 2 dimensional or invisible. The sadness can be overwhelming. But, Ms.Pietrzky gripped the core of my connection with my family (a fairly non-ethnic group) and forced me to examine feelings I like to ignore. I hope other readers have the same response. The book is worth your time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Akin to the stories about women and family and culture by Amy Tan, this book tells the story of self discovery, of roles we play and of Polish Culture. Books like this leave you changed. Knowing yourself a little more, maybe even a little less but intent on discovery. My thanks to the author.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Having grown up in a Polish neighborhood on Chicago's South Side with a grandma (bushia)who emigrated from the "old country", this book was like a stroll down memory lane. Grandma filled out stomachs with perogi, kluski, and kelbasa, our heads with captivating stories and our lives with unforgetable customs and rituals.

Pears on a Willow Tree is the story of four generations of Marchewka women: (mothers and daughters)Rose, Helen, Ginger and Amy....some of them seeking to assimilate yet preserve the past and it's traditions while others fight to supress and escape from those same traditions. Ultimately all of these women are trying to find that "impossible pear".

Believe me, you don't have to be Polish to love this book!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
There's not a false note in this book: It perfectly captures the speech and gestures and pride of an immigrant woman and her descendents. Pears on a Willow Tree also describes so sympathetically the struggles of the first- and second-generation Americans who yearn for what they imagine is the simplicity of the Old Country at the same time they reject its restrictions. A beautiful novel.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Pears on a Willow Tree" introduces us to a large Polish family. Each custom, each ritual, cooking habits, each tradition, and superstitions are discussed by 5 separate voices each having their own chapters. It remains cohesive throughout and the writing style allows the reader to hear all the viewpoints of different generations.....the mother who left her mother behind in Poland, her daughters, her granddaughters.

The prose is beautifully composed; the bevy of voices allows an intimate feeling about each character and a love for this stubborn family who believe everyone must live by each other. There is humor and there are tears, but it is truthful and that is what makes the journey we take through their lives so worthwhile.

This is a woman's book so I don't expect men to rush out and buy it. But, women, the bond of this family will touch a spot in each of you.

Excellent read.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Having read and loved Leslie Pietrzyk's second novel, A YEAR AND A DAY, I wanted to be sure and read PEARS ON A WILLOW TREE. Such a treat!

Having married into a Polish family, much of this book touched my heart and home! Such fun, such sweet people. Told from the view of four different characters, this book tells the tale of Polish immigrants and their daughters from a time spanning from 1919 to present day.

Meet Rose, her daughter Helen, her daughter Ginger, and finally, her daughter Amy. This Polish family consists of many more characters, but these ladies spanning four generations tell the tale.

Rose comes over from Poland and starts life fresh and new with her husband in Detroit, Michigan. Her letters home to her mother are full of anticipation of a good, new life in the land of hope, America. Rose takes us through her life and then the remaining three generations tell their tales.

The story moves back and forth from character to character, and from past to present and back again. However, this was not confusing. I LOVE novels where each character adds their two bits to the story. Makes for great reading.

When the women of the family gather in the kitchen gossiping, chatting, drinking coffee, eating poppy seed cake, exchaning recipes, I just wanted to pull up a chair, grab a piece of cake and a cup of coffee and join right in! The description of the Polish food will just make you HUNGRY for a good hot piece of kielbasa!! YUM!!!!!

Third generation Ginger is the "black sheep" of the family when, immediately after graduating from high school, she leaves her family, friends, and Detroit and moves to Phoenix. Ginger cannot stand the closeness of her family, how everyone knows everyone's business, and cannot stand Detroit. Ginger also has a drinking problem, which adds to her messed up life. How her moving affects her family and herself is mainly the idea of the story, but the author does a great job of blending past and present, everyone's perspective, and this equals a good book.

Read this book and then read A YEAR AND A DAY. Leslie Pietrzyk has the talent to carry off any theme, plot, situation. I am hoping for future books from her. She has THE gift.

Thanks! Pam
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
A Year and a Day: A Novel
A Year and a Day: A Novel by Leslie Pietrzyk (Hardcover - February 17, 2004)

The Things They Carried
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Paperback - October 13, 2009)
$9.54
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.