Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. 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 sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside. Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their émigré engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sister's campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget...
©2005 Marina Lewycka (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
"A charming comedy of eros... A ride that, despite the bumps and curves in the road, never feels anything less than jaunty." (Los Angeles Times)
"Lewycka is a writer with a fundamentally optimistic vision of the future and a healthy curiosity about the past." (Chicago Tribune)
"Charming, poignantly funny." (The Washington Post Book World)
Moreish. A not-quite-English word, for a not-quite-English book. Like a batch of exotic Eastern European ingredients, simmering together in a heavy English cooking pot. A story of redemption over decades, over a continent. The result is richly textured, savoury, not especially profound, but you certainly do crave for second helpings.
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