Rather than my "usual" review, I'm trying something different. Here are some some thoughts I had after finishing the book.
I loved this book. I got lost in the beginning too, with all of the names to remember. However, just when I thought I was terribly lost, the names all fell into place. I really got into it after that. It was beautifully written and a joy to read.
As for characters, I was fascinated by a few of the relationships: Laura and Nastia, Bonnie and Marta, and finally Peter and Nadia. I admired Peter and Nadia for risking it all to follow their dreams. I loved the ending and really wanted Sonia to find some happiness.
It did make me miss my mother, though. She was Ukrainian and died in 1998. This book brought back all kinds of wonderful memories of her and my childhood. I miss watching her make perogies (varenky) and other ethnic dishes. We (my siblings and I) never did learn to speak Ukrainian like my parents; we just used the odd word here and there…interspersed with English - kind of like in the book. In fact, we still use some of those words we learned as kids. Now I know why “toshi, toshi, toshi” sounds so familiar to me.
Really good book; great ending. I’d recommend it.