Book Review: A Country in the Moon

Michael Moran’s A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland is the kind of travel book that can inspire an armchair traveler to want to visit a place they’ve never had a special interest in before – and that’s because this is a literary travel narrative, written beautifully and with enough grounded historical research to make it fascinating.

A country in the Moon

A country in the Moon

Moran, originally born in Australia but something of a wanderer, ended up being sent to work in Poland in the early 1990s just after the fall of communism, which turned out to be a very opportune way to observe this country and its people adjusting to the modern world. He gradually gets to know the Polish as a people – progressing from overhearing conversations suggesting that Poles have bad table manners and drink too much through to developing deep and lasting relationships with many of them – especially Zosia, who he eventually marries.

Throughout this transformation, Moran manages to weave in an incredible amount of historical and cultural information in a very palatable way, so that as a reader you end up both knowing a lot about Poland, and feeling that you have followed a satisfying story through to its conclusion.
Creative Commons License photo credit: sollyth