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A Handful of Soil is a touching romance filled with suspence that hits very close to home for those who dream of escaping to a cultivated East, searching for a better life. This novel is dedicated to people who after going through pain and suffering preserved their traditions, language and life. Dying on the foreign land, they moan their last words in their native language. Tony is a typical American who is unexpectedly offered a multimililion dollar inheritance after the death of his grandfather. All he has to do to claim the money, is travel to his family's motherland, Ukraine, and bring back a handful of soil to put on the grave. Determined to attain his dream of great wealth and unravel the mysteries surrounding his grandfather's dying wish, Tony embarks on a spontenous journey that leads him straight into the heart of Kiev. But this trip is a far cry from a leisurely vacation. As soon as Tony's plane touches down at Borispol, he finds himself struggling against the language barrier with no money, no credit cards, and no help, he is forced due to extreme circumstances, to jump directly into the flow of real life in Kiev. He soon learns that it is much more thrilling and dangerous than the view from a tour bus window. Tony reacts instinctively to his unfamiliar surroundings and capitalizes on his natural abilities to make new buisness contact and friends. Ukraine tries to tear Tony apart, but he manages to keep himself together thanks to a beautiful historian, Vera, who is the only capable to prevent Tony from descrating a sacred Ukrainian national monument that survived for a thousand years, untouched by Communism and two World Wars. Her existence helps Tony understand his origin and the place where he belongs.
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Dr. Andrew Kudin was born on August 23, 1965. He is an author of multiple articles and novels. All of them are written in Russian and published in Ukraine. The Russian version of A Handful of Soil, which was published in Ukraine in 2004, became a book of the month in June of that year. It was so succesful that I had to translate it and that's how the English version of A Handful of Soil was created. There is also a screenplay written in both Russian and English, based on the novel.Review:
Andrew V. Kudin's book, A Handful of Soil, is a novel about Rus's fate. It's about Kiev-Pechersk Monastery, about the mysterious will of Saint Antony Pechersky. Without any unnecessary additions or eliminations the author leads the readers to the feeling that each one of us is an individual link to history, as links in a chain connecting nationalities, traditions and lives. The soil of Ukrainian land that Tony, the main charecter, brings to his grandfather's grave, who was burried on an unfamiliar American land, becomes a symbol of Motherland. No matter how the conclusion sounds after reading this novel, it's true; a person without Motherland - is nothing more than half a person. The novel ends on the words of the author that state: "This book is based upon a true story. The names have been changed, but none of the charecters are fictional. A Handful of Soil is dedicated to people who left their native land, but couldn't return home. --"Airport" magazine № 3.2004
A new romance, A Handful of Soil, is a thrilling story based on real and fictional facts, revolving around Antony Pechersky's will, who was the founder of Kiev-Pechersk Monastery and monarchism in ancient Rus'. ... a wealthy foreigner, whose roots are in Ukraine, returns to his Motherland, to find treasure that most likely belonged to his ancestors, but going through lots of adventures he finds something far more valuable - friends, a woman he falls in love with, and the true meaning of life. The meaning that was lost ina replete and respectable world. Through this novel, the author convinces us that "Kiev's land contains the same amount of mysetries as Egyptian pyramids." We must say, we have to agree with that statement. --"Academia" magazine June 2004
In 2001, Andrew met a Ukrainian immigrant, whose life story became the idea of this novel. A successful engineer, Tony expects to receive a will containing three million dollars. The only condition is to bring a handful of native soil to put on his grandfather s grave. Wanting to receive the inheritance no matter what, the protagonist goes to the land of his ancestors and finds himself in a web. For two weeks, Tony experiences more than he experienced in his scheduled life in America; he meets different kinds of people who challenge him to make true or false decisions: he meets hookers and without any losses gets rid of them; tries to establish his own business in Ukraine and successfully avoids deception; and finally meets the love of his life. This novel contains something that distinguishes it from any ordinary romance-mystery tale. The main character wonders who is he, and why is he living on this earth. The ancient map of Kiev-Pechersk Monastery left by his grandfather leads Tony to an ancient monastery... --Natalia Molchanova, Segodnya
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