Author’s New Novel Takes a Look at Ukraine’s Culture

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Ken Saik pens a tale of a dying man’s last request for his grandson to learn about his ancestry

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“Old Country Surprises” is a quaint tale of Mike Bennik’s adventures in Ukraine following his grandfather’s last request: learn about your ancestry.

“Old Country Surprises” (published by iUniverse) is a quaint tale of Mike Bennik’s adventures in Ukraine following his grandfather’s last request: learn about your ancestry.

Faced with signs of failing health, Mike’s grandfather asks him to go to the old country to learn about the influences that shaped who he is. Mike embarks on an adventure which develops relationships, and a sense of happiness and self discovery as he lives and interacts in the western Ukrainian region where his family originated.

An excerpt from “Old Country Surprises”:

I’d speculated. Grandfather misses the talks with his brothers and the stories they heard from their father. If we come back with new stories it would be like his brothers were sharing memories with him again.…

Exotic new foods, architectural wonders, and the language itself wrap Mike in the past. But he also realizes that, while the Ukrainian people have not forgotten their troubled past, they are still being haunted by a harmful Russian influence

He meets a young Ukrainian lady, Natasha, who brings Mike into the culture he is surrounded by. “She provides a model to stimulate hope that some young people do take an interest and a pride in their heritage,” Saik says. With her as his guide, Mike finds what his grandfather sent him there to find – his past.

About the Author
Ken Saik is a retired social studies high school teacher. He has published two other books. He is a third-generation Ukrainian Canadian living in Alberta, Canada.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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