Goodbye, Kiev by Thomas C. Almond A story of love and commitment even in the presence of overwhelming odds. A story of one man and one woman. One American, the other Ukrainian. The man travels to Ukraine to meet the woman he has corresponded with through an international marriage agency. They meet and fall in love. He returns home engaged, but soon the woman seems to mysteriously change her mind. He cannot understand what has happened and cannot get over the feeling she does not really want to end this relationship. Without even an agreement that she will meet with him, he returns to Ukraine to solve the mystery and save the relationship with the woman he loves. He is not prepared for what is to be the answer to this mystery, an answer that will repeatedly test his love and commitment.
Goodbye Kiev Book Review: -Moving, Heart-Rending, and Spiritually Fulfilling! At some point or another, we all pine for that special someone who will one day come into our lives and ease the lingering pain of being alone…our only fear: that when they finally come along, they’re too good to be true … Such is the case with Tom, a veteran firefighter looking to mend the broken pieces of his heart after an unpleasant divorce. Of all places, he selects the countries of the former Soviet Union to seek his ideal mate – and, as unlikely as it may seem, he soon finds the new love of his life, Lyubov, through a Russian matchmaking agency.
Everything about Lyubov convinces Tom that she’s the woman of his dreams, and, after traveling to her native Kiev to meet her in person, the two of them soon fall head over heels in love with one another and begin a whirlwind romantic affair that culminates in her joyfully accepting his heartfelt marriage proposal.
Just as quickly as they brought Tom and Lyubov together, though, circumstances soon begin to drive them apart. For reasons unknown to Tom, Lyubov suddenly starts to put distance in-between them, and she eventually cuts off contact with him completely. Not one to give up on true love so easily, Tom relentlessly pursues Lyubov, determined to discover precisely why she longs to withdraw from him – and what he ultimately learns about her shakes not only the foundation of their burgeoning relationship, but his own personal belief system as well. In the wake of the devastating, life-altering news, Tom is forced to decide if his love for Lyubov is truly strong enough to endure even the most daunting of challenges. Goodbye, Kiev is a touching memoir penned straight from the heart of someone entirely familiar with the thrilling highs and abysmal lows of love.
Thomas Almond’s semi-autobiographical account of the simultaneously rewarding and arduous trials of relationship-building will resonate with readers of all ages even remotely familiar with such universal matters of the heart. We are taught from a young age that we must fight for the things that we truly desire, but few among us are able to sustain the requisite resolve to endure the various challenges that threaten to impede us along the way. Through the example of Tom’s life, Almond provides the reader with a sterling example of the benefits of such tenacity, and he also skillfully displays that – even if the result that we receive is different than what we desired – we are still ultimately richer for having embraced the experience.
Reviewed by Linda Waterson Apex Reviews (Durham, NC USA) February 21, 2009
Thomas C. Almond was born in Spokane, Washington. Almond served 4 years in the USCG, followed by 27 years as a firefighter for the city of Portland, Oregon. Almond lives in Bend, Oregon and is married to Olga Kucherenko of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Thomas enjoys stories that evoke thoughts and emotions from the reader. In his writing he feels as if he is telling you his story in person.
-Goodbye, Kiev’ is based on a true life experience. It is a collaboration of this experience and my idea of writing a love story involving a difficult situation that would test this love and commitment.