A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a ...more
1 - write about what you know. Check! She's British Ukrainian and this is all about British Ukrainian stuff.
2 - Decide on a strong central narrator and give them a winning personality. Check! Boy oh boy does our first person narrator want you to like her. When I was reading this today and the doorbell rang I thought that was her come round with some freshly baked pampushky. As the story rolls along ...more
But instead of fun with tractors I got the above - the family squabbles, elderly abuse, well-hidden family secrets that nobody wants to unearth, the pent-up years of anger and frustration, and the misery of life. In a nutshell, it is a story of a very
It took me so long to read it.
I was recommended this book by my friend in work who is also a big reader. We had been discussing "the 100 year old man that stepped out the window and ran away" as we had both read it and loved it. I explained how I had a soft spot for books about old men. He suggested I read this book as he said it was similar. I can see the similarities but I just hated the old man in this story.
He angered me and so did his stupid daughters. I hated all the ...more
My thoughts on that after reading the book: What the fuck?
The quick synopsis of the plot is this: Gold-digging Ukrainian immigrant hussy latches on to an elderly Ukrainian widower in England, marries him, and tries to take his money and his house. ...more
This novel left me feeling like one of those class members.
This is the story of old ...more
Quick summary: Two sisters are estranged because of a mysterious event that happened 40 years ago in the Old Country. But their mother is dead and their father has taken up with a Ukrainian hussy. Also, he is writing a book about tractors. In Ukrainian. Hussy terrorizes father, sisters must get over ...more
I can't figure out the target audience, how was it shortlisted for the Orange prize (just a pun on Ukraine's Orange Revolution?) or selected as Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime?
An adult plot, but written with limited vocab (except for ...more
I knew that this book existed for some time. However, something about the title didn't attract me.
I think I have always assumed that I would prefer a book about American tractors.
Then one week I saw it again, bought it and read it within a week. I was ready for it. Our lives had mysteriously moved into alignment.
Not So Secret Family Business
Although it is set within a Ukrainian British family and it takes hilarious advantage of this fact, it reveals a lot about families ...more
A Short History of Tractors... is the ...more
Valentina, the 34 year old Ukranian illegal refugee had only one aim - to become a citizen of UK.. and she didn't mind marrying for it. Whereas the old man, bit of a megalomaniac, fell in love.. and even wanted a male progeny from the union.
This dark satire revolves around how his ...more
It was certainly not quite what I was expecting - because it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize last year, I guess I was expecting something a bit heavier, more depressing. But this ...more
I disagree with the reviews, however, which invariably claim that this is a hilarious book. It was funny and sad at the same time. When it was funny, it was chuckle-funny, not lough-out-loud. It's more of a real-life story about people and their problems, blown out of proportion with (slightly) ...more
Here is a summary of the book: Hey! We're Ukrainian! We have a dark family past! But we're really sardonic too! Hey! ...more
Let me just elaborate here, in order to clarify statement. Much of my family comes from the Ukraine, in one form or another. my father's mother is Ukrainian, my grandfather is from Cossac stock... but the major part of my family are Ukrainian Jews, by way of Russia. And as Ukrainian culturally Russian Jews... Well, let's just say that the major Ukrainian ...more
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 ...more
I liked the narrative since very beginning. The modern English with tint of colloquial conversation, the post worldwar setting of ...more
Lewycka was born in a refugee camp in Kiel, Germany after World War II. Her family then moved to England where she now lives. She was educated at Keele University and works as a lecturer in media studies at Sheffield Hallam University.
In addition to her fiction, Lewycka has written a number of books ...more