Friday, January 04, 2008

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka- Review

Title and author of book?
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

What led you to pick up this book?
Recommendation from other people and an interest in the subject matter (not Tractors but Ukrainian History!)

From Amazon
'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamourous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget...’

What did you like most about the book?
I loved the dialogue and the exchanges by all the characters. I raced through it because I was desperate to see how it ended.

What did you like least?
It made me realise that I needed to read up more on the subject matter as it is a while since my history A-Level and lots of things have been forgotten.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books?
No but will definitely be searching them out.

What did you think of the main character?
A great family and I loved the looks back into their history.

Any other particularly interesting characters?
The father and Mike.

Share a quote from the book:
So many from Valentina had me chuckling but your heart wrenches for the father.

Share a favourite scene from the book:
The last scene where he is saluting the sun!

What did you think of the ending?
One I was pleased with, bless him.

I highly recommend this book! There is so much more to say about it, delving into the historical aspects and immigration and I will try and comment on these later, I just wanted to give my general opinion of the book.
Rating (trying out this system!)
This is also a book completed for the What's in a Name? Challenge!


kookiejar said...

Excellent! I bought a copy of this 2 book sales ago and haven't delved into it. I'm really glad to hear I didn't waste my money. :)

Iliana said...

I really liked the beginning of the book but somehow I got a bit annoyed with it as the story progressed. The last scene - sun salutation - was a perfect ending though. I would like to read her latest book though and see what she comes up with next. said...

kookiejar- Hope you enjoy it!
iliana- I get what you mean, I got very frustrated in places but I guess that just echoes what the daughters must have been feeling.

Debi said...

I'm not sure this book ever would have caught my attention, but your review sure did. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the great review!

Bybee said...

I can't even see the title of that book without laughing, although I've never read it.