Following the success of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Lewycka returns with a tragic-comic triumph of cultural confusion which delves into the darkest reaches of economic migration and Western capitalism, encompassing the brutality of factory-farming; the immigrant hostels that are effective slums; the exploitation of illegal, and even legal, workers, and the endless deductions taken from their paltry paychecks for accommodation, food, transport and 'training', that leaves them with virtually nothing in their pockets; and then there is the ultimately more sinister side of human trafficking, which is not a major theme but raises its ugly head from time to time (for more about modern day slavery, see BookBrowse's review of ...
Immigrant Workers in Britain
In defense of Britain, it should be noted that not every immigrant in the UK experiences conditions as described in Strawberry Fields. Like many other Western European countries, especially those who are members of the European Union (EU), Britain has been overwhelmed by immigrants in recent years, particularly since 2004 when ten additional countries joined the EU, giving citizens of these countries the right to work anywhere within the EU (see sidebar). Many recent immigrants are getting on very well, both as migrant workers doing an honest days work for pay well in excess of what they could earn at home; and also on a permanent basis - building successful lives in Britain through a wide variety of jobs, with the ...
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