Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye Kiev

Thomas C. Almond

A story of love and commitment even in the presence of overwhelming odds. A story of one man and one woman. One American, the other Ukrainian. The man travels to Ukraine to meet the woman he has corresponded with through an international marriage agency. They meet and fall in love. He returns home engaged, but soon the woman seems to mysteriously change her mind. He cannot understand what has happened and cannot get over the feeling she does not really want to end this relationship. Without even an agreement that she will meet with him, he returns to Ukraine to solve the mystery and save the relationship with the woman he loves. He is not prepared for what is to be the answer to this mystery, an answer that will repeatedly test his love and commitment.

My Take:

I am a firm believer in appreciating a book for what it is intended to be.  This is the introduction to Goodbye Kiev as told by the author:
"I never fancied myself a writer.  I am a storyteller.  If I had my druthers I would rather relate this story to you verbally in person than to write it.  So sit back, relax, get comfortable and let me tell you a story."
With this is mind, I was a bit more relaxed in certain elements of the writing.  Sometimes it would feel a little awkward in reading, but when I imagined hearing it, it would make sense.  As I read Goodbye Kiev, I tried to picture the author reading it to me aloud rather than reading it quietly to myself.  This made the story feel more like what the author was going for.  I think this book would make an awesome audio book.  It is very detailed and gives a blow by bow account, which can feel a bit tedious for the written word, but again, if it were a story being told, it would have been fine.  I really enjoyed the story, I especially enjoyed feelings the emotions it evoked.  The writer is able to make the story feel relatable due to the emotions expressed, even though I'm willing to bet most people that read his book have not gone through a Russian marriage agency to find a bride.  Goodbye Kiev also provided some great characters a person can really root for.  I wanted the two main characters to be together so badly that the tension in the times they were ripped apart was almost unbearable.  I had to keep reading as fast as I could to get to what I hoped was a happy ending.  I finished this book in about a day and a half because I felt so emotionally invested in the character's happiness.  I really enjoyed this absolutely heartrending and emotionally fulfilling story, and give it a rating of a 2, Borders with a Coupon.

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie it would likely be rated PG-13.

A few words with the author, Thomas C. Almond:

The Book Buff: What is your favorite interview question?

Thomas C. Almond: Why do I write? Because I think I have the ability to inspire people, to tell a good story, to make people think and feel emotion through my writing.

TBB: Do you have a specific writing style?

TCA: I like to write as if I am sitting in your living room telling you my story.

TBB: How much of Goodbye Kiev is realistic?

TCA: It is a fictional story but some of it is fairly accurate to real life experiences, some other parts are based on real incidents but changed a lot for the book and some is completely fiction.   

TBB: Did you learn anything from writing Goodbye Kiev?

TCA: It is very difficult to be a first time author. As an author you must have a lot of confidence in what you wrote because it is a long hard road to market it today. You may find yourself seeming to be the only one with confidence in your book. Be careful when you take advice from other authors or writers. Some of it is good and some is not.

TBB: If you had to choose one book to read the rest of your life, and nothing else, what book would it be?

TCA: The Bible. Still the greatest book ever written.
TBB: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

TCA: I have many but I always liked Mark Twains humor and the fact he was way ahead of his time on many subjects like slavery.

TBB: What is the most interesting thing about you?

TCA: I met my beautiful wife in Ukraine
TBB: Do you have something you are working on at the moment that you’d like to share with readers of The Book Buff?

TCA: I am working on a sequel to Goodbye Kiev. I think it will be a surprising follow up for the readers.

TBB: Is there a website or page you would like to share?

***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are interested in purchasing Goodbye Kiev, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!



Christiann said...

Great Blog. Love Your take on this book.

Jenn said...

You know, I've never, ever listened to an audio book because I love the written word, and a lot of that has to do with the technique.... the ability to capture and captivate using no verbal or physical communication. It requires the ability to covey something, that will be perceived, correctly, a million different ways. But, it sounds like this book may be a good bridge to take me over to "the other side". :) Thanks for the review. May have to pick this one up.


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