Reviews

Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka

Penguin

Mark Haddon

"Immensely appealing.  All but sings with zest for live...could hardly be more engaging, shrewd and winningly perceptive."

Sunday Times

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'Two Caravans' is the second book by Marina Lewycka. On the front cover, The Sunday Times claims '...but this is better'; having really enjoyed 'A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian' that statement was hard to believe.

Whilst the book wasn't hard to get in to, it did take several chapters before I started to relate to the characters. This was probably due to the fact that the narrative regularly moves between the entire strawberry picking gang. However, I quickly warmed to them after that, well some of them anyway; Andriy and Irina eventually fall out of the story as the main characters and the ones I warmed to the most. Some of the others, such as Yola, are a tad irritating but still bring a very real edge to the story.

Some reviews claimed that this book was 'hilarious'. I'm not sure I would go as far as to agree with that. The novel is quite humourous but all in in all I found it quite sad. The entire story is about the struggle of a group of good genuine people. They are exploited and all but treated like second class citizens. All they want is to work for a better life, but they have to fight so hard for it.

Of course I have forgotten to mention my most favourite character - Dog. In a crazy way, I think Dog makes the book. Many a time I would go back and re-read Dog's entries - they were so simple that they really touched me: "I AM HAPPY I RUN I PLAY I AM WET DOG I AM DOG". Loyal to the end, Dog helps to bring happiness for Andriy and Irina but at his own cost.

When I closed the back cover of 'Two Caravans', I realised The Sunday Times was right - this was better than 'Tractors'.

 

 

 

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Reviewed on 07/07/2008 by Angela

 

Reviewed item details

ISBN-13: 9780141026992

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