Really enjoyed the novel. Very clever really, in its light and highly readable treatment of so many subjects, from the frailty and vulnerability of elderly parents and the generational chasm, to the economics and consequences of communism and immigration of questionable legality. Yes a seemingly crazy juxtaposition of themes blend smoothly into an entertaining tale, involving love and loyalty, resilience, disappointment, sibling rivalry, self image, status anxiety, national identify and the horrors of war. It reminds us that what comes before moulds us into who we are today, and what some will do (or settle for) to get what they want. It is evil or desperation? Selfishness or maternal ambition?
It is such a quick easy read but despite dark corners of subject matter remains light and was considered a comic novel I believe. I wouldn't go that far but it was highly entertaining and very evocative.