Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two caravans again

Having enjoyed 'Ukrainian Tractors' very much, I found that I was rather disappointed by this book. Firstly we were introduced to the Eastern European, Chinese and African characters with quite a lot of dialogue, each time in the sort of fractured English that they might be expected to use. I did not find that on trying to convert the writing into sound, I was getting a very true impression, rather a caricature. This was, for me a barrier and made getting into the story difficult.
The topics covered were all very laudable and close to my heart, so I would have liked the subjects treated with more depth; difficult in a novel where several subjects, each worthy of their place, were covered. I don't think, therefore. that I was the target audience. As an exercise in raising awareness of some of the current issues that need addressing to those who don't give much consideration to these things,it is probably successful. However,I did not find it as humorous as 'Tractors' and found the link to that book at the residential home, contrived.
I certainly agree with Val that some episodes were unnecessary, and thought, the letters to Africa were very tiresome. The final outcome of that character (sorry, I can't remember the name), was quite unbelievable.
I agree that we were left to assume the worst about the girls sent to Amsterdam, but one, if I remember correctly, was hoping to be a doctor, so bright. Would she be that gullible?
I liked the character, Lena. Her matter of fact manner and logical thinking made you believe that she was a survivor and would end up strengthened by her privations.