Mrsgaskell's Reviews > A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
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's review
Jun 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 7-star, british, bookcrossing
Read in June, 2008

The dust jacket describes this as “A wise, tender, deeply funny novel about an eccentric elderly Ukrainian widower in England and the struggles of his two feuding daughters to thwart the voluptuous young gold digger from the old country who sweeps him off his feet”. Vera and Nadezhda have not spoken since they fell out over their mother’s will but when their 84-year-old father calls Nadia to say that he is marrying a 34-year-old woman they realize they need to act together. On one level, this is a funny story and I laughed out loud on several occasions, but secrets of past family history, through war and oppression, are revealed as the story is told. This is also a story about growing old. The father is an intelligent man, a former engineer who is writing a book about tractors, but he is becoming increasingly dependent on family to help him with difficulties. I liked the ending, with the old man doing the yoga sun salutation. Not a great book but interesting enough and entertaining.

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