Twisted by Lola Smirnova

It’s a story about Ukrainian girl adventures in Europe. Actually, it’s more about her survival and work she did in Europe. And as far I have personally met lot of those girls in my life, this is her true story and not a fantasy.
She was from eastern Ukraine, well educated and after the collapse of Soviet Union, they had to find ways to support themselves and family. Working in Europe was everyones dream. So, she was lucky to be selected as entertainer to Luxembourg.

Her work was to entertain men in bar and her work obligations where to get men to buy her expensive champaign. So, she had to do everything to seduce them as long they buy champaign. The book describes very detail, what kind of men she met and what she had to do to fulfil her working obligations. And some of those where really weirdos, but no-one had right to refuse customer. And about her family, relationships with other girls living together in small chambers. Her sister even manages to get herself French boyfriend, whose trip to “post-perestroika” Ukraine was such kind of experience, so he never contacted again.

After she wasn’t anymore obtain EU working visa and there wasn’t much to do in Ukraine, besides spending hard earned money, she decided to take a trip to Turkey to earn money again. Of course, there wasn’t any luxury cruisers going there so getting with cargo ship carrying lot of girls going to work is a kind of experience.

Before passport control, ship staff asks girls to remember their passport name? Why: because lot of girls has been deported previously being quilty of prostitution, so they go back to Ukraine, get married, get new last name with new passport and go again.

With her friend, they start to work in Istanbul as call girls for local madame.
Getting in love with one of the customer and getting to drugs, didn’t ended up good with her relationship with her madame and her girlfriend, so she finds herself thrown out to the street.

With her things and nowhere to go, she asks a favour from “boyfriend”, who constantly borrows her money and when money runs out, she finds herself in street again.

Her attempt to earn something independently from nightclub ends up her being gang raped and nearly killed.

Finally, getting back to Ukraine and finding out that her sister has somehow managed to save $20,000 from her work in Europe, the family decides to move to Moscow and open luxury hair&nail salon there.

Thanks to all the editors (two editors and one proofreader), the book is so well written, that you will anxiously turn pages. And despite the hard content, there is always her positive, humorous view to everything happening to her. “There is always a bright side of life” as Monty Python once sing us.

This book is must read for everyone trying to understand, what that ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine is about.