Marina Lewycka: We Are All Made of Glue (Penguin Books 2009)

Many thanks to Geopen Könyvkiadó for sending me the book!

Adhesives appear in many areas of the industry and play an important role in manufacturing processes. But what could be the glue that holds us together? What is responsible for the involvement and interconnection of tangled human relationships?

The protagonist of Marina Lewycka’s novel is also looking for the answer. Georgine realizes one day that her husband has left, and she suddenly orders a container in her anger and throws away all her partner’s belongings. This action triggers a strange avalanche. Georgine meets a strange, old Jewish woman rummaging through the container and their lives are intertwined (stick together) from that moment. The novel is very modern: we get to know people struggling with the challenges of our time, but the story is also interweaved with the tragic events of World War II. Nonetheless, the book is not depressing, but on the contrary: it is hopeful and humorous. For me, the style of the novel shows some similarity to Gill Hornby’s books.

Marina Lewycka, an English writer of Ukrainian descent, was born in a refugee camp in Germany but has lived in Britain since she was one. In her youth, she loved poetry, especially Tennyson’s poems, and also liked to imagine herself as the Lady of Shallot: “with a faraway look and moody eyes as she drifted toward her doom”*. The reality was not so tragic. Marina was successful in her studies and during her university years she studied English language and literature as well as philosophy. She later worked as a lecturer in media studies at the Sheffield Hallam University. Her first book (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian) was published in 2005 and has won numerous awards. The We Are All Made of Glue is her third book. In addition to her work as a fiction writer, she also publishes books that provide practical advice for caring of elderly people.

If you would like to learn more about the writer and her work, visit her website:

*quoted from the author’s webpage