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Where the Stork Flies: Time Travel From PA to Poland

Story written by Linda Wisniewski

Where the Stork Flies: Time Travel From PA to Poland

Ever since the day she saw a copy of her family tree with the name of her oldest known ancestor, a woman named Regina born in 1778, Linda C. Wisniewski started to wonder who she was, what her life was like, and what she would think of women’s lives today. She could find little additional information, so the author and memoir teacher decided to answer these questions by writing Regina’s story as a novel.

Wisniewski has been writing most of her life. She is the author of the memoir, Off Kilter: A Woman’s Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother and Her Polish Heritage, and teaches memoir writing for the Pearl S. Buck Writing Center. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies both print and online, and for ten years, she was a freelance reporter for the Bucks County Herald.

Where the Stork Flies is the story of Kat, a Pennsylvania librarian, who finds a lost time traveler named Regina in her kitchen. When she tries to help the woman find her way back home, they discover that the Black Madonna of Czestochowa has other plans for them both.

The stork plays a big role in Polish folklore and legends even endow them with human qualities. For Wisniewski, Poland is the ‘land where the stork flies,’ the land of her ancestors. In the novel, a stork appears several times in key scenes as a guide.

Kat, the narrator of the story, is a librarian from Doylestown, where many scenes are set. The medieval Queen Jadwiga also appears and the two travel to upstate New York and 1825 Poland to help Regina, the Polish peasant who inspired the story.

Much of the background research for the novel was done on a Road Scholars trip to Poland, where a guide took the author and her husband all around the country, from cities to countryside, visiting several of the towns in areas where they have family history. Most helpful was a visit to a skansen, or outdoor museum which was a recreation of village life in the 18th and 19th centuries. There she saw houses like the ones where her ancestors might have lived in, as well as household tools, farm animals, clothing and whatever was needed to “build a world” for the book’s characters.

Wisniewski says she set out to write about the contrast between women’s lives in different times, and how one might be better than the other, but found that the real story was in the modern woman’s quest for her ‘best life’ in a world of overwhelming choices.

Where the Stork Flies is available in paperback and e-book at Amazon and by order from your favorite independent bookstore. If you’d like to keep in touch with Linda Wisniewski and her writing, you can sign up for her newsletter by going to her website,