Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

“Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcée.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 a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.”

I just finished reading a book I picked up at the airport, “Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian”. I started it on the plain and couldn’t put down – you know one of those books you just want to know what’s next?

I think part of the attraction was that the story is about a family story of old-time migrants from post-war Ukraine to the UK, which I can vaguely relate to. I became quite interested in the books that show the view of foreigners of the ex-USSR countries, and how people from these countries fare abroad.

It’s actually a funny book, witty I should say. There is an old man, father of the family who left Ukraine post-WW II. After his wife dies, he decides to marry a woman from a modern Ukraine – post-USSR, and the book is about how it all happens and what are the consequences for this man’s daughters, who consider UK their home. There are themes of parents and children relationships, immigration and native citizens conflicts, old and new-wave migrants, war and communism and capitalism, and human feelings that are the same really whatever language you speak.

I highly recommend this book, especially to people who have friends from ex-USSR countries and/or are interested in learning a bit more about that part of the world’ mentality. And it’s also very entertaining 🙂

I was a bit melancholic though after I finished it. I’m quite lucky to originate from Russia and Belarus, but I’m even luckier I grew up in a modern era, not 50 years ago, and that I am as free as I am, and as comfortable in life as I am.

Read it. Seriously.