I don’t remember how I’d first heard about A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka, but I hadn’t looked into it at the time. I found it at the library, after looking for books about people from Eastern Europe or Russia, I think, and it turned out to be a decent read.
The book focuses on two somewhat estranged sisters living in England, which is where their parents emigrated to from the Ukraine before the younger one was born. They end up working together to try and prevent their widowed father from marrying a Ukrainian woman much younger than him, for fear that she’s trying to take advantage of him to get a British passport.
Interspersed with the main story are segments from a book their father is writing, with the same title as the novel itself. The passages are sometimes connected to the story, though I got a little tired of them after a bit.
All in all, the story was interesting, especially as we see how the family conflict changes the sisters’ relationship and their view of other people. A little slow in parts, but, still, an interesting book.