Published Jan 2010
Set in middle-England, this is a remarkable first novel about two sisters at war with each other, who are drawn into an uneasy alliance by their 84-year-old father’s determination to marry a woman from the old country, the Ukraine, who is 50 years younger than him. To Nadia and Vera it is obvious that Valentina (who is already married) is a fortune-hunter in search of a visa, but their father chooses to believe that love is still a possibility. Lewycka deals with the confusion of old age with immense humour and compassion; and as the two sister struggle with each other, they too have to learn to confront their complex past, in which war and peace are ambiguously intertwined, and find that hope is there for the taking.
Short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize. Long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.