Accommodations follows Wiola after she leaves her childhood village, a close-knit agricultural community in Poland where the Catholic calendar and local gossip punctuate daily life. Her new independence in the nearby city of Czestochowa is far from a fresh start, as she moves between a hostel and a nuns’ convent brimming with secrets, taking in the stories of those around her.
A gritty portrait of city life in the Wild East ... Greg’s view of working-class life is seasoned with a sharp eye for imagery and an offbeat, self-deprecating sense of humor ... Croft’s mastery matches Greg’s trademark lyrical yet bizarre and hilarious descriptions ... Greg has a particularly intuitive sense of the spiritual links joining humans to one another, our communities, and the natural world, and the artistic skills to bring those connections to vivid life. This unique perspective, on full display in Accommodations, sets her apart.
In the translation, Croft could have embellished upon the text to make it more comprehensible to those unfamiliar with Polish culture and history by explaining references ... but chose instead to retain the unique inflections of Greg’s dreamy, meandering prose. The experience is akin to going on a backpacker’s expedition of a foreign country rather than a package tour: It’s a lot more work, sometimes disorienting, but ultimately a much richer and more satisfying experience ... Like the passage into adulthood, Accommodations is an exhilarating, wondrous, occasionally befuddling journey of a young woman, a country, and a culture in transition, reckoning with a violence-torn past, pressing on ever hopeful toward the future.
Though the narrative perhaps moves a bit too quickly for readers wanting to savor the story, the prose hums with bright, sensual language. Couched in melodious, resonant writing, this fanciful meditation on individual maturation and spirituality will satisfy and stimulate readers.