As I have said before a number of times, one of the things I like best about the Library Sale shelves is the element of surprise - you never know what might turn up there for a pittance. So it was with this book, which originally caught my eye because it looked vintage. In fact, it's a 1958 English-language first edition of a book originally published in Poland in 1957. How cool is that? It's been cooling its proverbial heels on my TBR shelf for a while now and it's finally had its turn to be reviewed.
This book was a rather poignant and bleak look at what it was like to be young in Poland in the late 50s. You definitely feel the weight of World War II, the communist regime, the Russian occupation, and the general hopelessness that was in the air. At the same time, the young people in the book are struggling to maintain hope - mainly through love relationships, and/or drinking, as they might be the only things in their lives they can exercise some control over. Everyone is waiting for something to happen, but they seem powerless to do anything but wait. I can't get more into detail without spoiling the entire book, so I'll just end here by recommending this philosophical novel.