Friday, April 17, 2009

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, by Marina Lewycka

I wanted to like this book. Its cover (not the one shown here, unfortunately) caught my eye (as much as we say we don't, we really do judge books by their covers), and I liked the characters. I really did. But the writing lacked a certain vibrancy that I expected, and could have been there with these characters (a Ukrainian immigrant, his much-younger immigrant wife, and his two daughters who were largely raised in England). We expect something deep from our literature, something deeply revealing about the human spirit or the human condition, and while I believe Lewycka tried to put it there, it just didn't feel natural.

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