Eva Galuska and the Christmas Carp: A Novella by Kathleen Clauson

Eva Galuska and the Christmas Carp: A Novella

byKathleen Clauson

Kobo ebook | December 19, 2007

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Eva Galuska and the Christmas Carp is a magical Christmas story told by Jozef Mieszko about his own life. He is a successful young man who has it alla beautiful golden-haired wife, two young sons who worship him, a rewarding career, and a home with great equitya fairytale, castle-like brownstone on Chicagos trendy Gold Coast. Jozefs parents, first generation Polish immigrants, achieved the American dream with sacrifice, tenacity, and hard work, and they own and operate an Old World-style Polish bakery and delicatessen. Their store is located in the heart of Bucktown, an old Polish neighborhood near St. Marys of the Angels Catholic Church, one of Chicagos actual historical landmarks, known for its spectacular golden dome, its glorious rooftop angels, and its mysterious blue light in the cupola that can be glimpsed from the Kennedy Expressway. Even though Jozef is proud of his family heritage and he enjoys helping his parents at their store, he realizes he is not a people person like his father, and he chooses a career as a computer programmer, rather than pursuing the family businessas his father puts it, Jozef prefers to lose his eyesight to blue-screened electronika.

A few days before Christmas, Jozef makes a routine stop at his parents store on his way home from work and he runs into Eva Galuska, a strikingly beautiful, seductive woman, who is a friend of his family. Eva is a talented seamstress who has always seemed breath-taking and mysterious, but after their brief, flirtatious encounter in his fathers store, Jozef finds himself unexpectedly attracted to her and cannot get her out of his mind. This unexpected lust leads Jozef to question many aspects of his life and these confusing thoughts about Eva lead him to one particular childhood memory that haunts him, revealing his own guilt and feelings that he could have somehow prevented it from happening in the first place.

For Jozefs family, the holidays represent the most profitable time of the year as well as the traditional Polish religious celebration of the birth of Christ. For Jozef, the glow of Christmas is a magical time, when anything is possiblethe twinkle of lights brighten the world at the darkest time of the year and at the same time, the celebration of Christs birth, is an impetus for spiritual rebirth.

Jozef sets out on a journey of self-discovery, sharing his memories, perceptions, personal thoughts, and problems with the reader. He questions the blend of old rituals and superstitions with religion, in an attempt to discover his own beliefs and to resolve old conflicts, still smoldering from the past. His meeting with Eva unlocks a forgotten door in his childhood memories, revealing his uneasiness with a family Christmas Eve tradition and unravels a tangled paradox of hidden secrets among the layers of complex personalities, family traditions, superstitions, and faith. And in spite of his conscious efforts to differ from his father, Jozef finds that he possibly shares a secret with his father, to which he has been oblivious, his entire life. As Christmas Eve approaches, Jozef recognizes the tiny window of opportunity to resolve his personal issues once and for all.

Eva Galuska and the Christmas Carp is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and the languages, the culinary specialties, the folklore and superstitions of Chicagos ethnic communities, particularly focused on Chicagos Polonia. And the fictional story of Jozef Mieszko, intertwined with history and actual landmarks of Chicagos magnificent landscapes, reveals a contemporary, yet tangled plot, that could happen to any familyin America or elsewhere. This story at Christmastime is sheds light on Eastern European holiday traditions still practiced today, but also open the door for Jozefs spiritual awakening, and in a sense, his rebirth as he listens to the Black Madonna and follows St. Marys of the Angels mysteriou

Title:Eva Galuska and the Christmas Carp: A NovellaFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 19, 2007Publisher:Xlibris USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1469117711

ISBN - 13:9781469117713

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