Sunday, April 28, 2013

"A short history of tractors in Ukrainian" by Marina Lewycka

I'm not quite sure how to describe what I thought of this book. I haven't read a book quite like it before. It reads kind of like a soap opera in which none of the characters are 100% likeable...but you feel sympathy, frustration, disbelief about them all in turn, and you do want to keep turning the pages (I finished the book in 2 days). While the cover says 'extremely funny' I think it's more in the way of black humour rather than laugh-out-loud funny most of the time.

The story is interesting though, and I did enjoy it in some ways, but it kind of felt like I was spying on an extremely dysfunctional family a lot of the time. Basically the story is of a family in the UK who were orginally immigrants from Ukraine after the second world war. The 2 grown-up daughters barely talk to each other, but are brought together as co-conspirators when they discover their elderly father (in his mid 80s) is about to marry a 'gold-digging' hussy in her 30s, who basically seems to be marrying him to get a permanent visa into the UK from Ukraine, despite already being married, having a teenage son and multiple affairs going on. So the two daughters Nadia and Vera unite forces to try to prevent this occurring, and the dramas that ensue are sort of funny and sort of sad, mixed up with history of the war and politics and tractors....

Started reading on my kindle: 26th April 2013
Finished: 28th April 2013.
My score 6/10

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