Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review; A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

This is the book we are reading this month for my Book Club. The title - would make one think that it is going to be all about farm machinery and the like - but it is not. It is the story of Nadia, a late 40s University lecturer - her father, her older sister and their new "step-mother."

It takes place over the span of 18months and is very realistic and takes on a number of social and geo-political issues in a way that sneaks them in through the back door - but addresses them nonetheless.

At times this book made me laugh out loud. I think that is a testament to the authors very clever story telling and the fact that the father in this book is very much the male version of my MIL. When Nadia - the narrator - is trying to get her 84 year old father on board with a plan - the interplay of culture and language and stubbornness reminds me very much of conversations and situation which arouse with my MIL as H and I dealt with her illness and growing dependence on us.

This book is a reasonable quick read but also thought provoking and very well written. It is a meaningful story and even though most of us might not have the cultural conflicts in out own families - the story has something to show us all.

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