Ms. Akhtiorskaya is a good writer with a good humor. She uses so named poker face humor, when you don’t know if a person is serious or joking. Humor was the best part of this book. The story itself is interesting up to a point. I think it would be hard to understand what it is about for people who never heard about Odessa or Brighton Beach area of New York and why they are so famous. Odessa is a large city in Ukraine famous for its beauty, large Jewish population and humor. Jewish population of Odessa, when moved to US in large quantities, created a small enclave of culture that pretended to be different from USSR, but carried on everything that people brought with them in their suitcases and their heads. The story is about two people from Jewish community who are in search for themselves and their purpose in life; this search is split between New York and Odessa and has a gap of 15 years in between two parts. The characters are from different generations, but with similar problems. They share bloodline and relatives; they make the same mistakes and are criticized for the same qualities and “mistakes”. In general, the book updated my vocabulary, but the ending that dropped me in the middle of nowhere was kind of a disappointment. I wish that the way the book had started was carried to the end.
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