First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
“Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous 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 the sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.“
When their recently widowed father announces he plans to remarry, sisters Vera and Nadezhda realized they must put aside a lifetime of feuding in order to save him. His new love is a voluptuous gold-digger from Ukraine half his age, with a proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, who stops at nothing in her single-minded pursuit of the luxurious Western lifestyle she dreams of. But the old man, too, is pursuing his eccentric dreams – and writing a history of tractors in Ukrainian.
A wife, tender, and deeply funny novel about families, the trials and consolations of old age and – really – about the legacy of Europe’s history over the last fifty years.
Wah! It’s already the last Friday of the month and after one more day, November is about to start. 2020 is slowly closing its curtain. I know a lot of us are excited for a reset and a fresh start, and put this rather challenging year behind. Nonetheless, I hope everyone reaps the fruits of what they worked hard for this year. More than anything else, I pray that we all get over this uncertain and difficult phase.
As it is Friday, it is also time for another First Impression Friday update. I am on a 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die binge reading journey. From Iceland’s Independent People, I travelled to United Kingdom and Ukraine with Marina Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. I bought this book earlier this year out of whim. Well, not really since the title piqued my interest. I honestly thought that it was a nonfiction book but when I realized my error, my curiosity was piqued.
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is a very quick read. Lewycka’s writing has an upbeat tempo and it was easy navigating the story of a Ukrainian family living in contemporary Petersborough, England. Vera and Nadezhda are the only daughters of Nikolai and Ludmilla Mayevska, migrants from Ukraine. The sisters, however, have a stormy relationship which was further underscored by the recent passing of their mother.
An unusual event united the two sisters when their eighty-four year old father decided to marry thirty-six year-old Valentina, a divorcee from Ukraine. The two sisters, cognizant of what Valentina was up to, agreed to see things through together. The convergence of these characters was supposed to provide a humorous scenario.
On the surface, the situation does sound whimsical but there was a heavy undertone that belies this veneer of whimsy. Most of the discussions in the story go back to Ukraine and its colorful (or rather bleak) history. Nikolai was also writing a book that details the history of tractors. This, unsurprisingly, was also linked to the history of Ukraine. Yes, there is a lot of Ukraine in the story but I am expecting a lot more from the story for the plot sounds predictable so far.
Thankfully, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is rather a very quick read. I hope I get to complete reading it over the weekend despite the month end closing activities. How about you fellow reader, what book are you going to read this weekend? I hope it is a book that you’ve been looking forward to and I hope you enjoy it. Keep safe, and happy weekend!