Troubador Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz

Released: 28/02/2022

ISBN: 9781803130514

Format: Paperback

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Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz

A love story during the Great Depression in Poland


1930; Poland’s economy is beginning to suffer as a result of the Great Depression.

Kind-hearted but naïve Marianna lives with her parents in the rural village of Zalipie in southeast Poland.  This small farming community is all she has ever known, and she dreams of a different life in the city. A whirlwind romance with Leon, a dashing but egotistical musician, leads to a hasty marriage providing her with an opportunity for change.

Leon’s father, Stanislaw, runs the local grocery store in Kazimierz, a busy district of Krakow. His fellow shopkeepers and their families are a close-knit, diverse community and they welcome the couple with open arms, but the lives of the inhabitants of this small row of shops will be changed forever by the arrival of the newlywed couple.

Using rich descriptive prose, Barbara Pearman sets a series of scenes around everyday life that provide a range of insights into the diverse cast of characters’ personal lives, recollections and sometimes wild imaginings.

Listen to my recent interview on Wycombe Sound Radio on DAB 106.6FM and via the internet website for Wycombe Sound listen again option. (Mid morning on 6th May at around 12.30) I talk about what inspired the book, the characters that make up the story and also read an excerpt from the beginning of the book.


Wonderful story telling. Great story and wonderful descriptions of place. Thoroughly enjoyable read.

by Anniepaint

A love story painted with words. Barbara is an artist and showed she is able to paint with words too. I was taken to places I had forgotten i had in my memory of emotions. A wonderful read. Highly recommend.

by Linda Wright

A spellbinding read. I was captivated from start to the finish.

by Malcolm Goodchild

Finished this amazing book late at night (much later than usual sleep time but had to finish!). VERY clever ending. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole book with its intricately-weaved story line.

by M Skinner

The author skilfully creates a family of characters, chronicling their everyday struggle with adversity and the uncertainty of their future. In the midst of these turbulent times, a moving love affair creates both tension and emotional charge to the narrative.

by Patricia Lynch

I can honestly say I haven't enjoyed such a fascinating story for a long time. It is beautifully written. I felt as if I knew all the characters personally (and will miss them in my life) like friends. My perfect book.

by Katherine Crowne

I really enjoyed this book. The author describes the characters skilfully, keeping the reader completely involved in their lives, I was hooked right from the start.

by Amazon customer

Barbara Pearman

Barbara has been a practising artist for many years and having gained a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art Practice needed a new challenge. In 2018 she joined a creative writing class led by an inspirational tutor and the following year made her first submission to the Happy London Press Hi2020 short story competition for new previously unpublished writers. Her entry, A Diwali Tale, set in and around Amritsar's golden temple, was selected from over a thousand entries as the winner in the romance section and subsequently published in a hardback book called High1 in 2020. Her second visit to India, a country whose colour and people captured her imagination, has hugely enriched her writing experience.

Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz was inspired by a trip to Krakow and one particularly atmospheric restaurant which led to her first completed novel.

Barbara is a passionate gardener and self-confessed plantaholic and her artwork is strongly influenced by nature in all its forms. Another form of story telling saw the completion of a lavishly illustrated personal diary of a year in her garden. Altered books are another of her passions and examples of these can be seen on her website at www.barbarapearman

She has an extensive collection of short written pieces, some of which are illustrated by her artwork.

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