Last month I joined Love at First Book and The Book Wheel again for a book club read and this time the chosen book were A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Ever heard of don’t judge a book by it’s cover? With this book I’d say don’t judge it by it’s title, because this book isn’t JUST about the history of tractors (although there are some parts that covers that).
Vera and Nadia are two sisters who don’t particularly get along well and haven’t been in touch for a while when Nadia is forced to contact her older sister when she learned that her 80+ year old father is marrying a young Ukrainian woman in her thirties’ – a war refugee. Convinced that she isn’t really in love with their father, but rather a money-hungry opportunist, the two sisters bond over a mutual goal: to get rid of Valentina.
The two sisters fails to stop the wedding from happening, but work forwards helping the father get a divorce from Valentina. Why? Soon after the wedding, Valentina made her intentions clear. All she wants is to get citizenship in the US and she treats the father, Nikolai, horribly. As much as she is nasty and mean, she does provide some comedy to the novel. I couldn’t help but find her funny , but I also wanted Nikolai to be rid of her as much as Vera and Nadia.
Nikolai was an expert on the history of tractors and was busy writing a book about it – that’s where the title comes in. I didn’t find that parts of the novel interesting, but overall I really enjoyed this book! It was an easy read about family drama, infidelity, sibling rivalry that’s also packed with humor. There were times were I even felt bad for laughing at certain scenes. I say that this is a nice and short read and if you do pick it up, you’ve read one of the books on the 1001 books you must read before you die list!