The black Madonna of Derby

About the author

Joanna Czechowska was born in Derby, the daughter of a Polish father, who was an RAF pilot during the war, and an English mother. She studied history at UCL and Birkbeck College, University of London. She has worked in London as a journalist for 30 years and is currently Book Review Editor for Woman magazine. 


About the book

The Black Madonna of Derby is a novel about three generations of a Polish immigrant family living in England in the 1960s and 1970s. The story moves between the provincial town of Derby to London then Warsaw and Krakow in Poland as the family deal with two cultures, secrets from the past, tragedy and ultimately redemption. It was originally published in Poland in Polish under the title Goodbye Polsko and the sequel Sweetest Enemy came out in 2012.


Debi Alper said, 'Intelligently written, with a wry and gentle humour, The Black Madonna of Derby provides a vivid and topical insight into three generations of a Polish immigrant family as they struggle to find a balance between two cultures.'



My Review



I was intrigued to read this story as it recounts the history of a Polish family moving to Derby in the 1960s. The author brought back many memories of my time in Poland as well as developing some fantastic characters. In fact, it is almost like reading a fascinating memoir and whilst the author has drawn on her own experiences it is difficult at times to believe this is fiction. If you’re looking for a well-written heartwarming story that will move you to tears as well as smile then this is for you. I loved the evocation of the era and this book deserves to reach a wider audience.



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Latest comments

27.05 | 22:25

Another amazing review, dying to get my hands on this one xxx

27.05 | 20:42

probably the best new author I know....x x x x x x x

27.05 | 14:17

Great review, can't wait to read over the holiday

27.05 | 13:49

Wonderful review. Really looking forward to reading this.

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