American journalist Thomas Swick went to Warsaw as an English instructor in 1979 and returned several times during the 1980s. He fell in love with it despite the pervasive drabness, the monotonous diet and the fierce winters. (It may be worth noting that he now lives in Fort Lauderdale.) This is an evocation of what quotidian life was like during the years of Solidarity and later martial law. There is a moving, even stirring account of the annual mass pilgrimage to the Black Madonna in Jasna Gora. A charming and useful memoir that should be read by all would-be sojourners in Poland.