The Road To Donetsk

by Diane Chandler

306 pages  |  6 x 9  

View Chapter 1


WINNER: The People's Book Prize for fiction 2015/16


The heartbreaking journey of an overseas aid worker from idealism to realism


It is 1994 and an idealistic Vanessa Parker enters the world of international aid, bringing with her youth and passion to do good in the ‘Wild East’ of Ukraine after the sudden collapse of communism. The country and its people completely win her heart. As does Dan, a jaded American Deputy Bureau Chief of USAID.


Older, wiser, Dan laughs at Vanessa’s naivety. Corruption is rife. The mind-set of the Ukrainian people is at times impenetrable. Her efforts to coordinate millions of dollars worth of aid are met with ridicule, whilst the British aid experts throw up smoke screens. At times thwarted, Vanessa’s determination to help is set when she meets the resourceful, magnificent wives of a Donetsk mining village threatened with pit closures.


But then Dan springs a bolt from the blue, which throws her into turmoil...


In a world where millions of dollars can either wash away in a moment’s corruption, or turn around the lives of the neediest, Vanessa is then forced to pit her own naive desire to make a difference against the chaos of a country and people in transition.


A gritty love story that brings Ukraine vividly to life: from the beautiful lilac-filled city of Kiev and the ski runs of the Carpathians to the dangerous depths of the Donetsk coalmines and the chilling ghost town of Chernobyl


“A touching love story that illuminates the aid business. Compelling and enjoyable.” CLARE SHORT (former Secretary of State for International Development)  


“Lifts the lid on aid.” LYNN CURTIS, literary consultant


Paperback Jan 2015  |  ISBN 9780993092244  | £11.99/$16.14


Reissue Nov 2016 ISBN 9780995473546