A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Book - 2005
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When their recently widowed father announces that he plans to remarry, sisters Vera and Nadezhda realize that they must learn to put aside a lifetime of bitter rivalry in order to save him. The new woman in his life is Valentina, a voluptuous gold-digger from Ukraine, fifty years his junior, with fabulous breasts and a proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, who will stop at nothing in her single-minded pursuit of the luxurious Western lifestyle she dreams of. But separating their addled and annoyingly lecherous dad from his new love will prove to be no easy feat-in terms of sheer cold-eyed ruthlessness, the two sisters swiftly realize that they are rank amateurs. As Hurricane Valentina turns the old family house upside down, all the old secrets come falling out, including the most deeply buried one of them all, from the war, the one that explains much about why Nadezhda and Vera are so different. In the meantime, oblivious to it all, their father carries on with the great work of his dotage-a grand history of the tractor and its role in human progress, giving due credit to the crucial Ukrainian contribution. The story carries us back to prerevolutionary Ukraine, through wartime Germany, to contemporary England, taking in love and suffering, tanks and tractors, bitchiness, sibling rivalry, and, above all, the joys of growing old disgracefully. A funny, enchanting novel about the belated healing of old family wounds under the most unlikely of circumstances and the trials and consolations of old age, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianmanages both to transport us somewhere entirely fresh and to echo what we ourselves know in our hearts about how families work (and don't). Written with great and well-earned wit, empathy and grace, it is a debut worthy of full-throated celebration. A wise, tender, deeply funny novel about an eccentric elderly Ukrainian widower in England and the struggles of his two feuding daughters to thwart the voluptuous young gold-digger from the old country who sweeps him off his feet
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2005
ISBN: 9781594200441
Branch Call Number: F Lew


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Jun 28, 2018

Don't let the title of this book fool you. Yes, it's funny, but it has a lot of serious commentary to make. Especially on how we're all struggling with dying, especially now that we're also living so long.

The conceit of this book is that while the protagonist's daughters are agonizing over their father's personal life-style decisions, he's narrating a metaphorical story about the importance and development of the tractor in twentieth century society. Cleverly and engagingly done.

Fun read. Take it to the beach.

Feb 16, 2017

Written in the style of ReaderĀ“s Digest, but far too long, little of substance here.

Aug 28, 2016

A family dramedy that had me laughing on one page and worried the next. Anyone with siblings will recognize the combination of love and conflict that occurs in most sibling relationships. The characters in the book were both flawed and lovable. Lewycka gets the mix of humor and sadness just right.

Oct 14, 2015

I laughed and laughed. Fabulous!

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 19, 2015

A humourous but touching tale of an elderly Ukrainian widower who falls madly in love with Valentina, also Ukrainian, who is buxom and blonde and fifty years younger.
Valentina beguiles him (secretly hoping for immigrant status in England) and actually manages to move in and marry him. His two daughters, Vera and Nadia, who are desperately opposed to every little thing about Valentina, let their own personal feud fall by the wayside as they tackle the task of separating their father from his nemesis and having her deported back to the Ukraine.

Dec 20, 2013

Well-written story with real characters, both plot and dialogue ring true. Worth the time reading, and I'd look forward to more from the author.

Aug 18, 2012

Really enjoyed this book. A deeply pleasurable and funny read.

Oct 14, 2010

Would not have picked this up based on the title, but it was a good read. A little sad at times, but offers some insight into aspects of the war.

Sep 19, 2010

I loved the family dynamics, especially between the two sisters. Nominated for the 2005 Booker Prize.

OttawaReads Jun 30, 2010

Listen to our review of this book at http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/main/interest/read/reviews/all/staff


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Jun 28, 2018

bktm2586 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

nellie Sep 28, 2007

nellie thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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nellie Sep 28, 2007

Sisters must deal with their widowed father who intends to marry a floozy who only wants his money.


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