...a story of strength, courage, and determination....The attention to detail the author gave to every step of the process, really drew me into her story and made for a relatable and memorable atmosphere...
—Pacific Book Review
Chasing the Daylight by Joanna Rakowski is a captivating memoir which provides a unique insight into the life of a dainty ballerina turned army interrogator…. Her story is one of grit, determination, and self-transformation...
—Hollywood Book Reviews
...this is a well-written, intimate account that breaks the norms of war memoir in its focus on the sacrifices of soldiers who never step foot onto a battlefield. It’s also an important reminder of the centrality of immigrants to the U.S. military in the modern era... A poignant story of an immigrant’s experiences in the U.S. Army.
This is a solid read and finding out the nuts and bolts of military service is something I enjoyed immensely. I can highly recommend this read.
Chasing the Daylight is eye-opening and captivating. Libraries and readers interested in accounts of women in service will find it involving and hard to put down...
—Midwest Book Review
This memoir is a captivating and inspiring experience that leaves a lasting impression… I would recommend Chasing the Daylight to anyone seeking a reminder that anything is possible with determination and perseverance and to those who would use the book as a form of inspiration to keep chasing their dreams.
—Independent Book Review
Tough-minded, inspiring account of a Polish immigrant’s U.S. military training…
—BookLife by Publishers Weekly
Atmospheric writing blends with vivid interior emotions to create a roller-coaster ride that mingles pride, fear, doubt, joy, humor, and sheer determination...
—The US Review of Books
What is it like to belong to the world’s most powerful armed forces at the dawn of the 21st century? Does a military tale have to be about the soldiers going to war? You’ll find out here.
Joanna is a fragile, romantic, former ballerina. After a painful rift with her beloved friend and mentor of many years, she joins the U.S. Army. Her dream is to become an Intelligence Officer. She faces a formidable task, but she embarks on a four-year journey to accomplish her goal.
Obsessed with a vision of darkness, Joanna pursues the light, her goal of being part of something bigger than herself. In her journey, often plagued by flashbacks of painful memories of a lost friendship, she conquers obstacles despite her physical shortcomings, discrimination, and abuse. It’s a coming-of-age story where Joanna transforms from a hopeless romantic into a soldier, as her responsibilities as an Intelligence Professional in the Army develop.
Chasing the Daylight is an account of Joanna’s four-year military service where her love for America, love for her husband, and love for her friend are seamlessly interwoven. The story whirls us into the center of the rigorous army training, and with the intricate details, transports us into the reality that only less than one percent of the U.S. population is experiencing.
from a fragile ballerina...
...to a hard-core soldier
Peter Tchaikovsky, Sleeping Beauty
Peter Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker
Peter Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake
Aram Khachaturyan, Spartacus
Adolphe Adam, Giselle
Engelbert Humperdinck, Hänsel and Gretel
Giacomo Puccini, Tosca
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde
Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana
Jules Massenet: Thaïs, Act 2: Méditation
Giacomo Puccini, Gianni Schicchi
George Frideric Handel, Xerxes
BAROQUE PERIOD COMPOSITIONS
Domenico Zipoli, Trumpet Suite in F major
Antonio Vivaldi, Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 8 No. 2, RV 315
Joseph Haydn, Trumpet Concerto in E flat
J.S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion, Chorus: Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen, BWV 244 No. 1
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Requiem Mass, K. 626
Antonio Vivaldi, Violin Concerto in A Minor, RV 356
Tomaso Albinoni, Adagio in G Minor
J.S. Bach, Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971, 2. Andante
Domenico Cimarosa, Oboe Concerto in C Minor
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Stabat Mater
Alessandro Marcello, Concerto for oboe and strings
Antonio Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "Winter": II. Largo
Giulio Caccini (Vavilov), Ave Maria (baroque style)
ROMANTIC ERA COMPOSITIONS
Antonin Dvořák, Symphony No. 9 in E minor Opus 95, "From the New World", Movement 4
Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise in A major (Militaire), Op. 40, No. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor
Peter Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture
Frédéric CHOPIN, Polonaise in G minor, B1, KK IIa No. 1
Edvard Grieg, Peer Gynt, Op. 23
Michal Kleofas Oginski, Polonaise “Pożegnanie Ojczyzny” (Farewell to the Homeland)
Gabriel Fauré : Pavane, in F-sharp minor Op. 50
Franz Schubert, Marche Militaire in D Major, Op. 51, No. 1
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vocalise Op.34 N.14
Rolf Løvland/Secret Garden, The Promise
Micheal Maxwell, The Elegance of Pachelbel, Serenade
David Foster, The Symphony Sessions Firedance
Tine Thing Helseth & Yasuto Tanaka, Eternal Story
Rolf Løvland/Secret Garden, Adagio
Samuel Barber, String Quartet, Op. 11, Adagio for Strings
Samuel Karl Bohn, Sorcerer’s Spell
Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Fanfare
Leo Stefanek, Vistula
MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACKS
James Horner, Apollo 13
Richard Addinsell, Dangerous Moonlight
Hans Zimmer, Thelma and Louise
Randy Edelman, Gettysburg
Nick Glennie-Smith, We Were Soldiers
Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, Gladiator
Vangelis, Chariots of Fire
James Horner, Courage Under Fire
Nino Rota, Romeo and Juliet
Trevor Jones, GI Jane
John Williams, Saving Private Ryan
Ennio Morricone, Maddalena
Andrzej Kurylewicz, Polskie drogi (Polish Routes)
Stanley Myers, The Deer Hunter
Marc Shaiman, A Few Good Men
Francis Lai, Love Story
Morning bugle call (Reveille)
Nini Rosso, Il Silenzio (Italian Cavalry bugle call)
Unknown, Hejnał Mariacki (Polish Saint Mary’s Trumpet Call)
Daniel Butterfield, Lights out bugle call (Taps)
Irving Berlin, God Bless America
John Stafford Smith, The Star-Spangled Banner
John Philip Sousa, The Army Goes Rolling Along (Army Song)
John Newton, Amazing Grace
Philip Egner, The Official West Point March
Glenn Miller, The Moonlight Serenade
Samuel A. Ward, America the Beautiful
William Steffe, Battle Hymn of the Republic
Louiguy, La Vie En Rose
Alfred Schütz, Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino (Red Poppies on Monte Cassino)
Arturo Sandoval, El Día Que Me Quieras (The day that you love me)