‘What is this book about?’ Was the first question I asked myself after Andrew handed it to me to read on our trip to New Zealand. ‘It’s hysterical’ he tells me. ‘How can a book about tractors be funny?’ Was the second question I asked myself. If I saw this book in the library or book store I would definitely have passed it by, however my advice to you, don’t. This book follows two feuding daughters who come together as they struggle to watch over their widowed eighty-four year old father, and his new wife… age thirty-six, occupation gold-digger.
Each chapter is written like a short story of both past and present life, that form together to tell the story of this family. The reader is exposed to stories of life in Ukraine during WW II, to life in a concentration camp, and mostly life growing up in England with a penny-pinching mother that was the root of the family. There will be moments where you laugh at their father’s expense and at the same time feel his pain and sorrow. For those of you that have a sister, you will be able to relate to their relationship and its evolution over time. For those of you that are a gold-digger…well I’m sure you can relate too. This book will expose you to one of England’s foreign national cultures and the inner workings of a partially dysfunctional family.
I’ve mentioned nothing about tractors in this review so I’m sure you’re wondering how it plays into this story, however if I’ve grabbed enough of your attention in the rest of this synopsis, you’ll want to read the book to find out. This book was short listed for the Orange Prize and is definitely a great read.
Next Book: Harlan Coben’s Long Lost