'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamourous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget...
About the Author
Marina Lewycka lives in Sheffield with her husband and daughter, and teaches at Sheffield Hallam University.
I enjoyed this book. It had quirky characters who led quirky lives. Two estranged sisters, the daughters of Ukarainian refugees, heal old wounds and form new bonds when they form an alliance to save their elderly father from the clutches of a Ukarainian bomb shell whose only interest is being able to marry to stay in the UK. Threaded through was an account of the history of tractors, as written by the father.
Reading this book was such a chore! Not only was NOT funny, but I found down right depressing! It is a pitiful story of a well meaning old man being taken advantaged of and played a fool. What a sad and lonely place the world must be if one finds the offerings of this novel as pleasant. Save yourself the agony of turning the pages on this one.
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