Nov 28, 09
Read in November, 2009
Fiction. This book isn't nearly as charming as its title, which, I'll confess, is the main reason I bought it. Mostly it's about a horny, pathetic old man who is being exploited by his much younger, practically mail-order wife. I finished it, but just barely.
The characters are Ukrainian and living in England, but don't expect to learn much about what that means for them. There's a lot of family drama, elder abuse, and not much characterization. The first person narrator, the old man's adult daughter, is practically see-through she's so flimsy. It's obvious she's just an excuse to tell her father's story and not an actual person in her own right.
The book actually does contain a short history of tractors in Ukrainian. Set against the backdrop of communism and its exploitation of the Ukrainian people and land, these parts were simple and well-done, tying into the current narrative without too many anvils to the head.
Two stars. I enjoyed the renewed sense of family toward the end, but it didn't make up for the extended abuse and neglect.