A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewcka

Book: A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian
Author: Marina Lewycka

Why I Read It: I was in a hostel in London and the common room "library" only had three books in English and this one looked the most intriguing.
First Line: "Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukranian divorcee."
First Impression: Wow. This is really good. I'm surprised someone left this here.
Last Impression: Nowhere near the journey I was expecting (and I didn't really learn anything about tractors) butit was engrossing and satisfying.

Overall – 4 Heart Skipped A Beat
Characters – 4  Each charager was dynamic and virbrant; the female narrator gives just enough space for her aging father determined to tell his history of tractors, the conniving and surgically accented Ukranian divorcee and her well-meaning but overbearing sister to fill up the pages.
Story – 2  Honestly the story became a bit dull and the characters were the reason to keep reading, not the action.
Narration – 4 The pacing was rhythmic and lulling, the word chocie was powerfully decisive and it was surprising how quickly all the intricacies of this Ukranian family felt familiar.

Read Again? Yes. It was unique and fun and a perfect road tripping read. But I might just feel that way because it was acquired in travels and read on the road.
Tell Others to Read? Depends on the person. If I see them in the bookstore with a stack in their arms 10 books tall, or flipping through a book about travel, then absolutely. Or if they are a "reader" and are looking for something different than their usual fare. If they're looking for something to read after finishing 50 Shades of Grey, probably not.

Excerpt: Tart. Bitch. Cheap slut. This woman who as taken the place of my mother. I stretch my hand out and bare my teeth in a smile.
   "Hallo, Valentina. How nice to meet you at last."
   Her hand in mine is cold, limp, no grip. The long fingernails are varnished in peach-pink pearlised nail-polish to match the lips. I see myself through her eyes - small, skinny, dark, no bust. Not a real woman. She smiles at Mike, a slow, wicked smile.
   "You like vodka?"
   "I've made a pot of tea," I say.
   My father's eyes are fixed on her as she moves about the room.

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This work by H.E. Saunders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.