It doesn’t often happen that I read a 500-page book within two days. But it happened with “Was It Worth It, Columbus in Jeans”.
What a tale! A true story!
Liliana Arkuszewska (author) and her family leave their homeland, convinced there is a better tomorrow in a far away country.
Very quickly you find yourself intertwined with incredible adventure and characters, which will not allow you to put the book down.
Always curious to know what happens next, you keep turning page after page throughout the day until the wee hours.
Throughout the whole story, you are constantly wondering if their plans would work, if they would succeed, whether they would make it or get discouraged with the struggles and life circumstances.
You cry and laugh, and then laugh and cry some more.
So, what the heck! In a cosy room, in your favourite rocking chair, it is only you and the book. You don’t have to suppress your emotions! This book has plenty of them! Just make sure to have a box of soft tissues near by.
Liliana Arkuszewska is a writer of unique talent that brings a story to life. Part of this talent is based on her credibility. She has an
unrivalled capacity to make the reader believe in what she writes.
She paints the picture not only how her world looks like but how it feels. Her writing is bravely honest, engaging and real.
Some say that every journey has an end, but Liliana’s keeps going. I would love to read continuation of her story.
by Sophie Beare
I just finished reading “Was It Worth It. Thank you Liliana for your story, it brought all memories of our migrants life although in the far Australia yet so very similar to yours in Canada. I admire Liliana’s writing talent. She has shown in a very subtle way that not everyone is built for life of un-knowns, adventure and lots of humiliations. She has shown how success does not have to be measured with the size of the bank account and how happiness depends on our dreams, determination, persistence and resilience to adversities of life. Power of family love and positive thinking is undeniable. I am looking forward to the sequel of Liliana Arkuszewski’s life journey.
by Renata Dobrowolska
by Renata Dobrowolska
Was it worth it?
Columbus in Jeans
by Liliana Arkuszewska
Columbus in Jeans is an absolutely amazing story. A story of flight to freedom. I couldn't put it down.
This memoir, written by Liliana Arkuszewska, is filled with the same thoughts that were running through my mind with each page I turned. When she was scared, I was scared. When she was happy, I was happy. I felt it all through her words because her account brings the truth to life.
I gave this book 5 stars for the emotional intensity that captured my soul and took me along on their journey. We often turn to books to help educate ourselves about the rest of the world. Columbus in Jeans gave me an education about what it was like barely escaping the communist takeover of Poland. How frightening for a young wife and child to be doing this on faith that their husband and father will be able to not only find them but catch up to them.
With little money, even fewer possessions, and not knowing what the next day would bring they set out happiness and freedom for a life they've only dreamt of. It was heart warming to hear of their survival and triumph of their struggles and challenges and how blind faith for a better life can give you an undetermined amount of inner strength. Their sadness and uncertainties are balanced with the
joy and excitement of knowing you have done the right thing.
After receiving permission to visit her parents in Peru, where her father was working, brought to the forefront that there was an immediacy to their situation back home. Her escape from Poland and her arrival in France was filled with obstacles. Not speaking the language, not knowing where to go or whom to turn to can be a very frightening thing. She takes us through the trials and tribulations that were her life and the incredible people who stepped up to give a helping hand and the surprise they had when her husband caught up with them.
Their final leg of the journey to arrive in Canada and have to start all over again must have been overwhelming. Yet, again, finding themselves at the mercy of others.
What an amazing tale. Was it worth it? You tell me.
by Alyce Drimer
This memoir is about the refugee and immigrant experience. The author tells the story of growing up in Poland, leaving to find a better life, living for a short time in Paris, and ultimately settling down in Canada. The author is a great storyteller, and the story of her difficulties is well worth reading.
This is a long, long, long book. It needed an editor to cull it down to a readable length. While I enjoyed the first part of the book, once the story got the author settled in Canada, it needed to come to a close. However, this was generally a very interesting book about the immigrant experience towards the end of the Cold War, and I learned a lot.
“Was It Worth It”
Outstanding piece of work!
You want history? You got it!
You want travel? You got it!
You want drama? You will cry more that once!
May be some humor? Watch out, you might choke from laughter!
What about some love? Arkuszewska enters the world of eroticism masterfully
with ease and great tenderness. Beautifull!
Every subject matter in this book is fascinating!
by Liz Payne
Loving this story of a family I had the pleasure of growing up with in Canada!
To know each each character personally and then read of their history and adventures through life is an unexpected blessing! Liliana’s story of her family’s life is captivating regardless of knowing them personally; a thoughtful and adventurous read!
by Shannon Fadden
One of the best books I ever read. When I bought the original Polish version, I couldn't put it down. I knew that both my kids will need to read this, so they know what we went through on our journey to Canada. I couldn't wait for the English version, and this one is as gripping and intense, as the original! Liliana Arkuszewski's story is very similar to my family's story and this is why I was so mesmorised by it. You laugh, you cry, you are captivated from first page to the last. A must read if you are looking for a journey of discovery, love, overcoming adversity and so much more. I feel lucky that I was able to connect with Liliana personally since reading the book. I'm happy that this English edition can be shared with those who can't read Polish. Liliana, get working on the rest of this story; we want to know what happens next! 5 stars!
by Joanna Gerber
"Was It Worth It"
is a non-fiction novel with the theme of life itself - very personal.
The essence and strength of this book are real characters, which the author perceives as universal, positive energy, giving direction and meaning to human life.
Very smart, inspiring, captivating, touching, full of deep messages,
guidance yet uplifting, and most of it real!
Liliana Arkuszewska strengthened my confidence, helped me laugh, reflect and see.
This book pumps the heart!
by Leszek Dobrowolski
Liliana Arkuszewska believed in her Poland. Every time she traveled to foreign countries she was longing for home. When urged to leave her Homeland permanently with the argument that the situation in Poland was getting worse and worse, she stubbornly replied: "Better off poor, but at home in my own country."
However, it was a simple trivial event that changed her mind. She trusted destiny and the counsel of her soulmate. She had faith in herself. She bravely followed the little green light, believing that it would lead her to Canada. She emigrated with her husband, their three-year-old child, sister and brother-in-law in the belief that in this distant land they would find a better future. She settled in Ottawa. A determined dreamer, one day she reached for her pen and discovered her passion. The passion of writing. She was strong-willed. Ink flowed onto paper and the pages filled up, resulting in the novel you now hold in your hands. "Was it worth it?" is the effect of this stream of words, and Liliana's story captured writing, now available for you to enjoy in English, for the first time ever.