Hardly Ever Otherwise by Maria Matios

Go to content

Main menu:

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 176  pages
ISBN: 9789491425127
Format: 203mm x 127mm
Price: €17.

Binding: Hardback , 176 pages
ISBN: 9789491425141
Format: 203mm x 127mm
Price: €21.45

Binding: E-Book
ISBN: 9789491425134

Imprint: Glagoslav

The dramatic family saga Hardly Ever Otherwise by Maria Matios, having won the Ukrainian national Book of the Year Award 2007 and Grand Prix at the Ukrainian Coronation of the Word Prize 2007, narrates the story of several western Ukrainian families during  the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and expands upon the idea that “it isnt time that is important, but the human condition in time.”

The family of a wealthy farmer Kyrylo Cheviuk is stricken by a tragedy. As time passes, nobody dares to talk about it. His young son Dmytryk´s body had been grinded by the local mill and the poor lad spent his last days  hardly breathing with his bleeding chest full of pain and ... his secret love. The course of the events to follow reveals the cruel truth of his death: “They jumped about on top of poor Dmytryk, as if they  were dancing a wild dance, stopping only after they heard that his bones no longer cracked...” A homecoming war veteran Ivan Varvarchuk beat Dmytryk to death for seducing his young wife Petrunia. But what did actually happen  and most importantly why?

Several vitally interconnected storylines develop throughout the novel, all fatally converging on the Cheviuk
s family tragedy. Painting a tortured picture of lifes harsh brutality in the region, Maria Matios features traditional topics of Ukrainian literature such as soldiering, brothers litigation over  land ownership, betrayal and revenge. Against the colourful backdrop of local traditions and highlanders rites she weaves her story of love, intertwined with a heart wrenching human  tragedy.

Enchanted by the impeccable style of this family saga, the reader becomes baffled by the character
s actions. In the words of Maria Matios the book is about peoples deeply concealed nature. When familiar passions like love and hate, joy and envy overcome them and its not in their nature to resist, consequences  reach the catastrophic magnitude. Each character is flawed, detestable, but in the books finale they incite compassion as their painful past is steadily revealed. The eternal dilemma  of sin and atonement pervades the pages of this book. The author does not shy away from carnal encounters and masterfully describes the psychology of lovers, accentuating peoples struggles  on different levels.

The novel translated by Yury Tkacz.

Back to content | Back to main menu