The Week: 2nd – 8th January

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Cooking hundreds of varenyky (Ukrainian dumplings) – just one of our trays – for Ukrainian Christmas.

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Summer Flowers on New Year’s Day.

So, it was another week, another Christmas for us. Now I have a few days to sort out birthdays for both my parents (and me!), have Ukrainian New Year, and then we’re off to Italy and London. It will be Easter straight after that – and we have two of those, too!

It has been very hot here, and it is going to get hotter in the next few days. I need to exercise because I have long-term knee problems related to my years as a ballet dancer (I have a talent for dislocating my right knee every few months!), but who can exercise when the temperatures are up around 40°C (104°F)?!

Speaking of ballet, I found an old photo of me backstage during a season of Giselle (Andrew, if you ever see this, I hope you don’t mind me posting your picture!). It was 1999, and – obviously – my night off from performances.

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First sunset of 2017

According to the lovely pussy-grabber, only stupid people oppose Russia. I’m guessing that means “stupid people” like my family and other friends in Ukraine, who are in the process of being invaded and slaughtered.

I was hacked by Russian trolls again on Saturday evening.

America: I know Russia rigged your election, but many millions of you still voted for this. It is unforgivable, and deeply upsetting for me on a personal level.

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Pro-Trump and Putin propaganda appearing in Montenegro. Serbia and Montenegro are almost totally anti-Ukrainian and pro-Putin. This is Hitler and Stalin take #2, and nobody seems to care.

Some of my favourite authors? I can no longer read their books. Anybody who supports Trump… It’s shocking we live in a world with people who think like that. This isn’t a difference of political opinion; it’s literally supporting mass murder.

I don’t even want to know what is going to happen to the world in the next four years.

Revisiting Old Books

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My review of The Workhouse Children by Lindsey Hutchinson

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Coming Up for Madeline Hunter

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Cover Love

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The Workhouse Children by Lindsey Hutchinson

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When Cara Flowers’ beloved grandmother dies she leaves her, not only an enormous fortune, but also a huge responsibility – to find their estranged family.

Cara’s quest leads her to the doors of the imposing Bilston workhouse where families are torn apart with no hope of a better life.

Shocked by the appalling conditions, Cara vows to find a way to close the workhouse and rescue its residents. Fraught by countless hurdles her mission becomes personal when she is left asking why was she raised by her grandmother, and what has her missing mother got to do with the looming workhouse?

The Workhouse Children by Lindsey Hutchinson

I am interested in the subject matter of this book, and have recently been reading a bit about the working classes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. And so I requested The Workhouse Children for review.

While the research was very well done, the story was tell instead of show, making it hard to care about the characters.

If you are reading this book to get a peek into life a century and a bit ago, there is plenty of information here. There’re lots of little details that were researched well. I also appreciated the use of a real place as the setting, and enjoyed doing some research of my own as I read.

I only wish I cared about the characters.

Perhaps some of my issues with the story come from the fact different genres focus on different things. Romance is often a more emotional genre than women’s or historical fiction (this book is historical women’s fiction), and the reader experiences feelings and reactions alongside the characters. I found here that I was watching people experience things from afar.

I know I tend to go overboard with commas when I type, but the lack of commas in this book sometimes made it a struggle to comprehend. For example:

I had to go with John on the cart until you were born Charlie.

This was an editing issue that should have been dealt with in the publication process.

So, if you’re looking for a book that’s heavy on the history, you might enjoy this. However, if you’re looking to connect with the characters, you might struggle a bit.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.