Local Author Sets Her Novel In Ukraine

Diane Chandler's love story was inspired by memories of living there


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Chiswick author Diane Chandler has been inspired by her years in pre-war Ukraine to write a novel entitled, 'The Road to Donetsk', a gritty love story that brings the country to life and which has been long-listed for the People's Book Prize.

Diane has been a resident of Chiswick for 15 years and her novel is set in Ukraine just after the fall of communism. Here's how she summarises her plot.

“It is 1994 and an idealistic Vanessa Parker enters the world of international aid, bringing with her youth and passion to do good in the ‘Wild East’ of Ukraine after the sudden collapse of communism.

"The country and its people completely win her heart. As does Dan, a jaded American Deputy Bureau Chief of USAID. Older, wiser, Dan laughs at Vanessa’s naivety. Corruption is rife. The mind-set of the Ukrainian people is at times impenetrable. Her efforts to coordinate millions of dollars worth of aid are met with ridicule, whilst the British aid experts throw up smoke screens.

"At times thwarted, Vanessa’s determination to help is set when she meets the resourceful, magnificent wives of a Donetsk mining village threatened with pit closures. But then Dan springs a bolt from the blue, which throws her into turmoil...”

Diane used to manage EU overseas aid programmes in Ukraine just after the fall of communism, and has drawn on her memories of that time to write the gritty love story that brings Ukraine vividly to life: from the beautiful lilac-filled city of Kiev and the ski runs of the Carpathians, to the dangerous depths of the Donetsk coalmines and the chilling ghost town of Chernobyl.

CLARE SHORT (former Secretary of State for International Development) has described 'The Road to Donets'k' as “A touching love story that illuminates the aid business. Compelling and enjoyable.
Published by Blackbird Digital Books and available as Ebook and Paperback from Amazon and Waterstones Chiswick,The Road to Donetsk is showcased on the People’s Book Prize website where the public can vote for their favourite books.


July 29, 2015

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