Take a typical farming community, set deep in the heart of a Ukraine that time has forgotten and try to impose Communism. Set somewhere in the mid 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, the book follows an irreverent family’s battle of wits with the authorities, throughout a typical summer. Throw in a debauched actress, a mad bee keeper and a self-styled war hero and see what happens. More
A first-hand insight by the co-author into the life of an ill-assorted family living in the USSR during the 1960's, during her teens. Set deep in Ukraine's farming community, the book describes the methods employed by the Gavrishko family, during a typical summer, to not only overcome the Kremlin’s dictates and petty rules but to use them to their advantage. The family, a self-confessed war hero father who craves for a quiet life, a Lenin inspired, workhorse mother, an eccentric grandfather who spent many years in Siberian Gulags and a nonconformist grandmother. Add a mad beekeeper uncle, a once famous alcoholic actress aunt, an arrogant Moscow-based cousin and an ignorant, alcoholic Communist party collective farm manager combination and it all evokes a recipe for a madcap way of life.From the first day of spring to late autumn, the narrative places various members of the family into outlandish predicaments that are dealt with in ways that, to a western orientated observer seem quite farcical, but to the Gavrishko family were a natural way of overcoming the odds.
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After 50 odd years of wandering around the globe in a state of drunken debauchery, I have now settled down in South Wales sans the debauchery and writing humorous articles and books in a nostalgic sense of 'did that happen to me'.