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Baba Dunja's Last Love

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,080 ratings  ·  293 reviews
Government warnings about radiation levels in her hometown (a stone’s throw from Chernobyl) be damned! Baba Dunja is going home. And she’s taking a motley bunch of her former neighbors with her. With strangely misshapen forest fruits to spare and the town largely to themselves, they have pretty much everything they need and they plan to start anew.

The terminally ill Petrov
...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Europa Editions (first published August 17th 2015)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,080 ratings  ·  293 reviews


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Caro the Helmet Lady
While someone is writing a proper review for this excellent book, I just want to hug baba Dunja.

Maybe even have a sip of her herbal tea...
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

The entire theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program at my library was a bit confuzzling to me, so I guess it makes perfect sense that this was one of the selections. “Live the Fantastic” was the idea and reading suggestions ran the gamut from graphic novels to tales of the Norse gods. It was . . . . eclectic to say the least and apparently was simply designed to help readers find good storytelling . . . .



Baba Dunja is probably n
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Ieva Andriuskeviciene
Oh I am in love with baba Dunja.
I believe she is a sister of Janina from Olga’s Tokarczuk “Drive your plow over the bones of the dead” and far cousin of Olive Kitteridge. I hope she already learned some English and is exchanging letters with her granddaughter Laura while drinking tea in her garden!
Sherry
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-this-year
Best book I've read this year. Baba Dunja is an old woman who returns to her village after a radiation accident. She's strong,practical, and wise- a deadly combination which thwarts an evil stranger bent on destroying his young daughter's life. I loved this book for many reasons- one of which was Baba's love of her home even though the outside world questions her sanity in remaining there. Last line reads "And then I push open the door and once again I am home." Absolutely beautiful :)
Helena
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I thought I'd love this book but there wasn't enough of anything to love except the characters. Baba Dunja's personality and stubbornness, diverse residents of her village, but nothing more than that, there was no plot, nothing made sense and many questions were left unanswered.
Sotiris Karaiskos
One of the books on the shortlist of this year's International Dublin Literature Award, which caught my attention at the beginning and after I have learned more about it, I realized that this is an interesting and unusual book that says a lot in just a few pages. I confirmed this by reading it and furthermore I realized that it is a very beautiful book, written by an author who has something special.

The protagonist of the story who gives her name to the book, she is an elderly woman who was forc
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Friederike Knabe
A very enjoyable and often fun read that could have been sad or even depressing. Baba Dunja recounts village life in Tchernowo, a place that was abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster. But a motley group of individuals returned and rebuild something resembling community. Events interfere however.

Alina Bronsky (a pseudonym) was born in the then Soviet Union and has lived since the early 1990s in Germany. Her character's witty observation of her co-villagers as much as Bronsky's perc
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Tamara Agha-Jaffar
So you live in the northern Ukrainian village of Tschernowo. Your village has been evacuated because of its proximity to the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl. In spite of dire warnings from your physician/daughter and government officials, you decide to move back to your village. You prefer to live in your own home in your own village on your own terms and not worry about radioactive contamination. You are a feisty octogenarian, fearless, full of grit, compassionate, kind, fiercely inde ...more
Carmen
The sky hangs light blue over the village like a washed-out sheet. There's a bit of sunlight. I just can't get it through my head that the same sun shines for everyone: for the queen of England, for the black president of America, for Irina in Germany, for Marja's rooster Konstantin. And for me, Baba Dunja, who until thirty years ago set broken bones in splints and delivered other people's babies, and who has today decided to become a murderer. Konstantin is a stupid creature, always making suc
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Tripfiction
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novel set in CHERNOBYL (..return of the walking dead..)

This review first appeared on our blog: http://www.tripfiction.com/novel-set-...

Chernobyl is situated in the north of Ukraine, near the Belarus and Russian borders. It would doubtless have remained as obscure as it was were it not for the nuclear accident of 1986 – when radiation blighted the neighbourhood and spread from there right across Europe. The word still sends a chill down many a spine…

Baba Dunja was one of the inhabitants at the ti
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Blue
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After an extended run of fiction on the fluffy side it was delightful to stumble upon Baba Dunja's Last Love.

For weeks now I've been giving myself pep talks on the importance of reading literature, of finding books of substance to nurture my brain. These talks didn't result in a change in my reading habits due to the fact that all the books that sounded like the sort of brain expanding writing I thought I should be reading unfortunately seemed so...dull.

And then I found this thin green tome on
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Vio
Wow! Alina Bronsky, such a surprise!
It is the third book by this author I own, I had no intention of buying it (damn you, Oxfam! :D), but I did it and I said to myself: look, such a tiny book, if you don't like it, there really is no harm done.

I L O V E D I T! While reading it, I checked it on amazon and saw that the English translation is on sale, for like the half of the price of the German original edition, and I was thinking of buying it for my friends who read English. Most of you know what
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Shirley Revill
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Baba Dunja's Last Love
I really enjoyed reading this book.
Made me smile and I don't think I will ever eat chicken soup again.
The ending was really sad but seeing that I didn't want the story to end I was sad anyway.
Highly recommended.
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CinnamonWolf
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with the biggest smile on my face and tears in my eyes right from the first sentence. The last few pages left me bawling my eyes out and sniffling for a while even after the book was over.

If you don’t fall in love with Baba Dunja you have no heart. She’s one of those really hard to find strong female characters: tough as nails in the most meaningful ways possible. She’s a person who knows what she wants from life, who understands what consequences her decisions bring, and accept
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Nita
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tschernowo is a small village devastated by the Chernobyl reactor. Baba Dunja is the first to return and soon others follow. I loved seeing and experiencing this village and culture through her eyes.

The village population suffers different medical problems but plod along in life until a stranger appears and there is a murder. The story is told with much humor and practicality of Baba Dunja. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Steven McKay
A charming, beautifully written little book that joined an exclusive club: universally enjoyed by the members of my book club.

The plot is simple, but character development is rich. What could have been very sad or depressing was instead entertaining and optimistic.

I'll be reading more by this author.
Kathrin
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-books
For being such a short book, this sure covers a lot: From living in the death zone around Tschernobyl, to aging, to family drama and murder... we are seeing all of this through the eyes of Baba Dunja. A most enjoyable read for sure!
Thomas
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is charming and humorous. I loved Baba Dunja. I was intrigued by the notion of people choosing to return to a radioactive village to live out their days. Almost like a self-imposed dystopia that holds more appeal than the "real" world.
Laura
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this gem down. Baba Dunja is such a terrific character. I love how the story unfolds and the setting is memorable. Thanks Blue for the recommendation!
Ingrida
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As fresh as herbal tea or warm milk with floating flies at grandma's. I never called my močiutė "baba". Heck, I rarely ever called her at all. Maybe that's why, even though this book made me smile, it also clenched my heart into a fist that doesn't let go. Baba Dunja feels like some archetypal essence of "baba". Like the one who will tell you to never walk barefoot even at home when there's thunder and lightning outside. And who'll indulge you in sweets and ice cream from "autolavka" and eat onl ...more
Gift
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baba Dunja´s Last Love is an unspectacular but beautiful story. Bronsky´s book is more about subtle emotions rather than action or plot twists. There is a clear plot line but it doesn’t seem as relevant as the overall message. Bronsky wants you to change your perspective. She wants you to laugh and cry about the Chernobyl disaster at the same time and she does it in a very smart and delicate way. You might get a little bit bored by the plot but you just have to fall in love with her character ba ...more
Ginny
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this short novel for its heart, humor and moxie. A tiny Russian Ukrainian woman in her 80's who was one of the first to move back to her home in Chernobyl's 'dead zone' after the 80's nuclear disaster. I was piqued to read this as a lighter side bar after binge watching 'Chernobyl' on Netflix. I've heard comparisons of this tiny gem of a book to Olga Tokarczuk's new release 'Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead'.

*Europa edition - translated from the German by Tim Mohr. He also tra
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lu
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to thank this book for hurting my heart, almost making me cry twice and just simply, for existing in all it's raw, humane and vulnerable essence. (This is way too dramatic but I don't know how to express it better, this feels like home and it's definitely one of the books I want to re-read later in life.). I would say I would've loved for it to be longer but at the same time I feel like it's just right the way it is.

(My intuition kept drawing me to this book every time I stepped into a
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Lorena
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baba Dunja is a rockstar.
She lives on the outskirts of a place where for some reason no one wants to live anymore, and that place is Chernobyl.
She doesn't make a fuss about it, she just wants to live in peace, which means caring for her home and her garde. As she herself would say, after all, she isn't 82 years anymore.

A strong woman, if there ever was one, who makes life so simple.

A wonderful read.
Anna Baillie-Karas
A small gem. The characters sparkle - especially Baba Dunja, an old woman who has moved back to her home town (Tschernowo / Chernobyl). I loved their small community, daily struggles & Baba Dunja’s frank assessment of her neighbours, told with dark humour. But it also made me think of ageing and how older people can be shunned or forgotten (in retirement homes for instance) - extreme here as they’re ‘radioactive’. Also one’s connection to home. ...more
Laura
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book but reading my English edition with the Germanly spelled Belarusian names made for a very psychedelic experience. I wonder why the translstor decided to keep the names spelled in German.
Morena
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute but the first one was better.
Daria
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germany, ukraine
A melancholic, bittersweet tale about human resilience in the face of catastrophe, about being old and slow and wise in a world that runs too fast towards the unknown, about the importance of being a community, about strength, dignity and honor, and finally, about love.
Cindy Leighton
A very sweet, delightful book about an older woman who decides to return to her now radiated village in northern Ukraine. Oxymoronic? Hardly. Baba Dunja has raised her children and knows what she and a few hardy neighbors want and need. She is very witty and loveable - and tough.

"Back when I was a nurse's assistant nobody had depression... And I asked Irina about it on her last visit...in Germany it's very widespread, practically like a stomach bug." Tells so much about her life, experience and
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Danja Kandrova
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
"Baba Dunja's last love" is a book that hits awfully close to home.

Baby Dunja is a tough old grandmother that lives in a small village, not far away from where the Tchernobyl catastrophy happened. She doesn't cares about the radioactivity and doesn't mind if she dies a day soon or later - she just wants to have her quiet life, far away from the big cities and modernity.
This book hasn't much plot, or something else remarkable but it feels good reading about things that are so familar to you but r
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Alina Bronsky was born in Yekaterinburg, an industrial town at the foot of the Ural Mountains in central Russia. She moved to Germany when she was thirteen. Her first novel, Broken Glass Park, was nominated for one of Europe’s most prestigious literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.

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“Ich hätte längst drauf kommen müssen, dass Marja nicht einfach nur faul und schlampig ist. Sondern dass sie faul und schlampig ist, weil sie Depressionen hat. Als ich noch medizinische Hilfsschwester war, hatte niemand Depressionen, und wenn sich einer umbrachte, nannte man ihn geisteskrank, außer es geschah aus Liebe. Später las ich in der Zeitung, dass es neuerdings so etwas wie Depressionen gebe, und bei Irinas letztem Besuch habe ich sie danach gefragt.” 1 likes
“If at my age i still spent time wondering about people I'd never manage to get around to so much as brushing my teeth” 1 likes
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