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Witold Gombrowicz, Lillian Vallee

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets - Oksana Zabuzhko, Nina Shevchuk-Murray This book is quite interesting, especially for people (like me) who already have an interest in Eastern Europe. You learn a lot about Ukrainian history, especially of the World War II, postwar, Communist, and post-Communist eras. It also has a certain puzzle aspect that is quite appealing. I found myself, for example, waking up one morning remembering something I'd read earlier in the book and realizing "Oh yes, that's who the father of Boozerov (one of the characters) must be!" On the other hand, it is very long (about 800 pages), so you really have to commit to it--it took me almost two months to finish. Also, the plot engine--the two protagonists in the novel's present dream about events in World War II that happened to one of their relatives--seems a bit contrived. On the whole, I would recommend it but not unless you already have some interest in this part of the world.