Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

Nadia is a Ukrainian woman raised in Britain with her older sister. The story begins just after her mother's death, as her father falls in love with a bombacious 30-something Ukrainian woman. Nadia and her sister Vera try to team up together (after a long history of fighting) to convince her father not to marry this woman, attempting to make him see that all she wants is British citizenship. When he marries her, the two begin to tackle the question of divorce and deportation. Along the way here and there, Nadia adds in excerpts from her father's memoir (A Short History of Tractors) and stories of what she knows to be her family's past.

This book was okay, I guess. There were some funny parts, mostly her father's ludicrious behavior. His eccentricity is amusing. There were some sad parts, like when she finds out about her family's history in Soviet labor camps, or when she realizes her father's new wife is beating him. But mostly, it was just kinda ho-hum. Not bad, but not that good either. Easy and short to read, I guess I recommend it if you're at the beach and forgot any other books.


Alyson said...

Christopher says that "bombacious" is not a word, and that I've obviously combined the words "bombastic" and "vivacious" into one. I say that (1) both of those adjectives describe this character, and therefore "bombacious" is more concise and (2) if "ginormous" is a word, then "bombacious" is a word. Eat it.

Christopher said...

I pressed her for a definition of this word, and she said, "you know, like WAH-BAM"