Friday, September 3, 2010

Moonlight In Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles

Y'all this was a home run for me! I was so pleasantly surprised with Moonlight In Odessa. Whenever I pick up a debut book from a new author, I get a little nervous about what I might be getting myself into. And this was Janet Skeslien Charles' first novel. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I had received Moonlight in Odessa close to the time it was published in September of last year from Bloomsbury USA and just now got around to reading it. I know, somebody slap my hands!

But seriously, I would so recommend this to all of you! It was a very intriguing storyline and some of it I completely related to being as how I myself met my husband through an online dating service called Christian Cafe. Now I wasn't a foreigner looking for a VISA, but the long distance relationship part and inner conversations of trusting someone new was definitely familiar! I just fell in love with Daria, a woman in the Ukraine who is struggling to make her mark in an oppressive country and yet to not lose hope that love was out there waiting for her. She had so many internal struggles and I found myself empathizing with her and cheering her on through her long journey from Russia into America. And I do hope that this second novel she's writing is a sequel that picks up right where she left off with Daria in America, because I felt like it was just getting really good and so badly want to know what's happened with her since!

Overall, a great read and one I highly recommend! I will for sure be keeping Janet on my radar in the future! And thank you to Bloomsbury USA for the free copy!

Description: Odessa, Ukraine, is the humour capital of the former Soviet Union, but in an upside-down world where waiters earn more than doctors and Odessans depend on the Mafia for basics like phone service and medical supplies, no one is laughing. After months of job hunting, Daria, a young engineer, finds a plum position at a foreign firm as a secretary. But every plum has a pit. In this case, it’s Mr. Harmon, who makes it clear that sleeping with him is job one. Daria evades Harmon’s advances by recruiting her neighbour, the slippery Olga, to be his mistress. But soon Olga sets her sights on Daria’s job.

Daria begins to moonlight as an interpreter at Soviet Unions(TM), a matchmaking agency that organizes “socials” where lonely American men can meet desperate Odessan women. Her grandmother wants Daria to leave Ukraine for good and pushes her to marry one of the men she meets, but Daria already has feelings for a local. She must choose between her world and America, between Vlad, a sexy, irresponsible mobster, and Tristan, a teacher nearly twice her age. Daria chooses security and America. Only it’s not exactly what she thought it would be…

A wry, tender, and darkly funny look at marriage, the desires we don’t acknowledge, and the aftermath of communism, Moonlight in Odessa is a novel about the choices and sacrifices that people make in the pursuit of love and stability

Rating: ****

Recommend: Absolutely!

1 comment:

Annell said...

I LOVE the name of your blog! I must admit, I've been known to smell books every now and then.

I've awarded you the One Lovely Blogger Award! Here is the link: