by Marina Lewycka - £8.99 Penguin Books Ltd (2012)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780241961827 | ISBN 10: 0241961823
"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 a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside."
When their recently widowed father announces he plans to remarry, sisters Vera and Nadezhda realize they must put aside a lifetime of feuding in order to save him. His new love is a voluptuous gold-digger from the Ukraine half his age, with a proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, who stops at nothing in her single-minded pursuit of the luxurious Western lifestyle she dreams of. But the old man, too, is pursuing his eccentric dreams - and writing a history of tractors in Ukrainian.
A wise, tender and deeply funny novel about families, the healing of old wounds, the trials and consolations of old age and - really - about the legacy of Europe's history over the last fifty years.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)