An idyll of the English countryside: a beautiful summer's evening in a Kent field, and around their two caravans a little group of strawberry pickers is getting ready to celebrate a birthday. But who picks our strawberries these days?
The pickers include Irina, just off the coach from Kiev and eager to improve her excellent English and find true love with a romantic Englishman; Andriy, the miner's son from the other Ukraine; and the Poles, including Bob Dylan fan Tomasz and Yola, the petite, voluptuous gang mistress and her religious niece, Marta. And then there is Vitaly, king of the new "mobilfon" world of the shiny new Eastern Europe; two Chinese girls; and Emanuel, the round eyed 18-year-old from Malawi, come to England to look for his sister.
This is a group leading dangerous lives, coping with exploitative employers, British regulations, and gang masters with guns, all threatening their existence as they take to the caravan road, until each of them peels off to find his or her destiny.
©2007 Marina Lewycka; (P)2007 Penguin Audiobooks
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"A book that makes you want to write to your MP"
Forget Wainwright's Walks - What has really happened to the social landscape of modern Britain? What is going on under the radar of the society we inhabit and the things we take for granted (cheap labour, cheap supermarket chicken)? This story is gripping, incredible, harrowing, and the labour/chicken metaphor tells the exploitation story brilliantly. Is this what Britain is really like for our foreign workers and immigrants?
The narrator's voices, range, delivery and style were excellent.
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