Monday, 30 August 2010

My Soviet Kitchen by Amy Spurling


My Soviet Kitchen: AND Companion Guide: Ivy's Guide to Life in the Ex-USSRMemory loss, homo sovieticus, and a wandering PhD student. This is Neo-chick lit. with a darker side, a vodka twist and a generous slice of post-Soviet living.

It’s 1994 and English PhD student, Ivy Stone, wakes up in a Moscow flat with a hangover and a vague sense of unease…

Unable to remember what she did last night or why there is a cryptic Post-It note on her fridge, she begins an emotional, alcohol-fuelled journey via an Uzbek wedding, an Estonian sauna, and a Georgian serenade. What dark past haunts her new Russian man? And will she ever find the author of the mystery Post-It note?
My thoughts: The whole idea behind this book really interested me. I don't know much about Russia and the surrounding countries, but I thought the book sounded intriguing.
However, I'm not sure I enjoyed it that much. I found the plot quite confusing. The whole "Mystery post-it note" thing sounds like it should be the main plot line, but in reality it's more of a side plot, and a very predictable one too. The main plot was more about the main character, Ivy, who is supposed to be a PhD student researching for a project, spending her time getting drunk and gallivanting around the former soviet union with an old, married Russian guy. The plot jumped around a lot too. It felt like one minute Ivy was at a party, next thing she's in a completely different country three days later. This is probably supposed to add the "memory-loss" that Ivy is feeling, but I just found it confusing.

Throughout the book there are lots of footnotes and references to the companion guide, which at first was a bit of a novelty and quite fun, but as the book carried on I just found these footnotes annoying and distracting. A lot of the time they didn't even seem that important or relevant.

Overall I can't say I enjoyed the plot that much, nor liked the characters enough. But if you're interested in reading about the former Soviet Union then you might like the facts that are scattered throughout the book. Also the companion guide that comes with the book had some recipes and things in it which were interesting.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment