When Mike Bennek’s ailing grandfather asks him to take time off from work for a research holiday to the Ukraine, Mike eagerly accepts. He looks forward to connecting with his family’s past; along with his brothers and a few friends, he embarks on the vacation of a lifetime.
From the moment they arrive, the group becomes enchanted with the different culture surrounding them. Exotic new foods, architectural wonders, and the language itself wrap them in the past. But Mike also realizes that, while the Ukrainian people have not forgotten their troubled past, today they are still being haunted by a harmful Russian influence. It is one more narrative he must add to his grandfather’s story.
Mike finds his grandfather’s birthplace with the help of the beautiful, strong-willed Natasha. He hears stories from long ago and learns more about his family and their culture than either he or his grandfather thought possible. From traditional Easter eggs and the peasants’ disdain for the aristocracy to a benevolent nobleman who played a major role in his family’s life, Mike comes to appreciate his grandfather—and his history—more than ever before.
With colorful details of the Ukraine and a dash of romance, Old Country Surprises speaks to the importance of family and the bonds of loyalty.