Friday, 27 September 2013

Artful Readers Club September 2013

The book I chose to read for this month's review is
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka.

Now, as it turns out only a little bit of the book is actually about tractors. 
The main story is one that most of us probably dread happening to our elderly fathers.

Nikolai's wife dies and leaves him alone for the first time after about 50 years of marriage.
He soon finds himself lonely and meets a young (he's 84 and she is 36) Ukrainian divorcee who's visa is about to expire and needs a new husband to stay in the country.

Nikolai's two daughters don't take the news too well and start a campaign to rid their father of this buxom foreigner.
Valentine's Sexy Bra
I found it quite a funny story at times and other times is was harrowing, as Nikolai has to deal with Valentine's mis-treatment.

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I will just say that I loved the ending and re-read the last few pages about 3 times just to enjoy it again and again.

See the rest of this months reviews at the link on Darcy's blog.

Alison xx


  1. I have seen this book in Waterstones, and mentioned here and there, and I must admit I was curious as to why everyone was suddenly so interested in Ukranian tractors :) :)

    My dad is also a widower, the thought of him taking up with a busty 36 year old is quite amusing, but I doubt I would be so amused if it were to actually happen :D

    Your papercraft tractor is super cute

  2. The moment I saw the little truck I started cooing lol. It's cute.

    The story sounds interesting. The theme would be very realistic in a city like mind. New York City is full of immigrants, and many do the marriage for a visa thing. The relationships are tough for all. I like the idea of reading one that seems to have a happy ending ;-)

  3. It's a sad day when children feel the way they do about their fathers. I remember when my Grandmother died (my grandparents raised me), I was mortified. I always thought my Grandfather would die first, and Grams and I would travel. That didn't happen.

    Suddenly, all alone, my Grandfather started allowing his next door neighbor to bring him meals. Although there was never any romantic involvement, and I doubt he even gave it a second thought about how the relationship might be perceived, I can totally relate to this part of the story/review. Of course, there was no mistreatment on the part of the neighbor, and she was definitely not buxom. But, I feel I lived that story, at least in part. The emotions that you brought out in me when I read your review were undeniable.

    I really enjoyed the review, since I've never heard of the book. Thank you for both funny art, and a good review. I'd really LOVE to know more about this story.

  4. An interesting and thought provoking review of a book with an incredible title! It sounds a very good read and I am glad the ending was so enjoyable. Your artwork is lovely, as always.
    Janet xx

  5. I have read this book, and like you was quite surprised that there was little in it about tractors lol I couldn't decide if i enjoyed it or now, it wasn't totally a comedy book, not was it totally serious, I wasn't sure there was a consistent feeling throughout it, but i did read it all.

  6. I too felt confused about how I was feeling when I finished this book....
    Love the artwork and your review.
    Hugs xx

  7. I read this book too quite a while ago, intrigued by the title. It was quite a surprise to find it was not what I had thought, though I did enjoy the bits about tractors as I used to drive one.
    As you say it was a good plot, but I couldn't quite take to the book. Still I loved both the book cover you designed and Valentin's bra!

  8. So late getting round to look this month, my daughters wedding in three weeks time is to blame I am afraid. I have read this book and enjoyed reading what you thought. Love the bra and good book cover.
    Jen x