The Rooster House New York Times Review

I’m delighted to share that my book The Rooster House is now available in the USA and Canada. It has been released by Abrams Press on June 27th and it’s now on the bookshelves around the country. The New York Times ran a review of my book earlier this week.

“When something of ours, something we took for granted as being ours, is destroyed before our eyes,” writes the Ukrainian-born journalist Victoria Belim, early in her absorbing memoir, “we are destroyed along with it.” “When Going Home Becomes a Fact-Finding Mission,” The New York Times, June 27, 2023

The review was written by Anya Yurchyshyn, whose memoir My Dead Parents I very much liked and recommended highly to my friends and readers. So it made me glad to see that Anya enjoyed my book as well.

Another thoughtful review I would like to share is from The New European by Charlie Connelly, “Grief and gardening in Ukraine.” It also leads with the quote from my book cited above, underscoring the idea that our deep longings for the places where we grew up have a profound impact on us.

“Mourning a place is even more difficult than mourning a person,” writes Victoria Belim in The Rooster House, an outstanding new memoir revisiting the Ukraine of her youth in search of family, history and the enigmatic strands that tie roots to destiny… The Rooster House is a beautifully written evocation of the Ukrainian people through the prism of four generations of one family, but it is also a celebration of Ukrainian women.” “Grief and gardening in Ukraine,” The New European

I look forward to sharing my book with you as well as more stories from Ukraine.






Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

For translations in other languages, please visit My Book page.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, my grandmother Valentina in our Bereh house.



  • Veronica: Congratulations, Victoria! Your book is arriving today and I can’t wait to start reading. June 30, 2023 at 9:14am Reply

  • Marsi: I finished reading Part I last night and look forward to reading again tonight. I was so excited when your book arrived the other day.

    You write beautifully, Victoria. There is a reason why I’ve followed your blog from your earliest posts. It’s not just because I’m a lifelong perfume freak; it’s because you write with lyricism sensitivity, and your interests and life experiences are worldly.

    After so many years of reading your blog, it’s a special experience to learn about your family’s history through your memoir. It must have been difficult — cathartic — to write it, but I’m so glad you did. June 30, 2023 at 9:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Marsi! This means a lot to me. I’m so glad that you are enjoying my book. July 3, 2023 at 8:50am Reply

    • Claire Levesque: Just finished reading your memoir. It spoke to me on so many levels. The search for family when you also feel fear for what you may find is told so well. And the description of the resilience of Ukrainians and their great artistic skills both impressed me and saddened me in the midst of yet another war.
      It is so heartbreaking to see how the despicable actions of governments have repercussions through generations.
      Thank you so much for telling this story. December 4, 2023 at 10:19am Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you very much, Claire. Reading this comment is so heartwarming. December 4, 2023 at 3:44pm Reply

  • JC: I received my copy yesterday! I am looking forward to reading it over the July 4 holiday. Perhaps a sobering time to do so, as we celebrate our country’s independence and reflect on what that really means. June 30, 2023 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it! And have a wonderful holiday break. July 3, 2023 at 8:50am Reply

  • AndreaR: My copy arrived yesterday. So excited! June 30, 2023 at 11:00am Reply

  • Rhinda: Congratulations Victoria! I look forward to reading it. June 30, 2023 at 11:11am Reply

  • Darinka: I’m so excited. I just discovered that my public library also has your book available for download! June 30, 2023 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: As a library lover, I’m glad to hear this. July 3, 2023 at 8:51am Reply

  • Amy McLaughlin: I was so excited to get this; I was up late and kept checking for my Audible copy to come through, and I started listening when it did at 3 am. It’s so beautifully written, and gives such a vivid and immediate picture of what life is like in Ukraine. My paternal grandparents came from Ukraine, but they died when I was little, and everyone left there was killed during WWII. Your book is a really impressive achievement. June 30, 2023 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Amy! July 3, 2023 at 8:51am Reply

  • Lucy: Wonderful accomplishment and seems like a good way to stay sane in the midst of ongoing tragedy. To examine its roots and write about it as a way to make as much sense of it as possible and process it. So glad to have this story. Just started and I’m immediately drawn in. If courage and perseverance can prevail over such dark forces and chaos, Ukraine will. Thank you for doing this work. Your perfume writing has always inspired, and now this too. June 30, 2023 at 1:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: So happy to hear this, Lucy. Thank you for your kind words. July 3, 2023 at 8:52am Reply

  • Dina C.: I also received my copy of The Rooster House yesterday, and I look forward to reading it this summer. Your memories of Ukraine here on your blog have been vivid and evocative. I’m looking forward to more of those excellent stories. June 30, 2023 at 1:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you will enjoy it, Dina. July 3, 2023 at 8:52am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Excellent reviews. I received my copy yesterday and will read it over the weekend. I will be recommending it to all my book reading friends. June 30, 2023 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: So kind! Thank you very much. July 3, 2023 at 8:52am Reply

  • Mel: I finally received my copy yesterday and immediately moved it to the top of my stack! So excited for you, Victoria, to expand your readership w/ this memoir. And for me, to plunge in at long last. What a great way to spend this long holiday weekend!!! Congratulations!!! June 30, 2023 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Mel! July 3, 2023 at 8:53am Reply

  • Henry: Yay! Congrats! It’s an excellent read! 🙂 June 30, 2023 at 3:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Henry! July 3, 2023 at 8:53am Reply

  • Michele O. Brown: Dear Victoria: your book came yesterday. It is beside me by my reading chair. Yet, I hate to start it because I know I will not be able to put it down until I’ve finished it. I’ve read so much about WWI and WWII the past two yrs, and the destruction and upheaval to western and Eastern Europe during WWII. Concentrating on resistance groups in all the countries where Nazi and Soviet forces occupied, I concentrated on how everyday people helped each other, especially the Jews families and resistance workers. Books on history are my favorite reading Material.
    I will be asking my local library to obtain this book. Thank you Victoria, for this “Labor of Love” you’ve given to us. ♥️🙏 God Bless Ukraine!!!!! July 2, 2023 at 11:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s been such a meaningful project for me, to put these stories and memories on paper. I hope that you will enjoy my book and that it will help you to understand Ukraine better. July 3, 2023 at 8:54am Reply

  • Diana: Dear Victoria, I finished your book last week and promptly sent copies to my best friends! ‘The Rooster House’ is so compelling. I read right through and will again once I get my copy back… I know so little about Ukraine’s history except now I learned a little more. What a beautifully crafted book; I so loved meeting your family and traveling with you to Ukraine; Such wonderful characters that so touched me; I can also relate to your family’s political tensions as I have my own version here in the States; Thank you for your ‘Ukrainian Family Story;’ I think your voice speaks to the whole world; Your ancestors surely are grateful and so am I. May peace be with you and your loved ones in Ukraine and well with everyone everywhere.. July 10, 2023 at 5:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so delighted to hear that you liked my book. Thank you very much for your kind words. This means a lot to me. July 11, 2023 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Nefertari: Congrats Victoria! I’m so happy for you, I saw the Chinese translation of “Rooster House” on Taiwan’s bookstore list before, I knew I would read it soon, yesterday my Instagram perfume account was suspended due to the system misjudging infringement , I am very sad, unable to accept such a big tragedy, I try to maintain a good mood.
    Now I will temporarily use the new account to continue to follow you and any news from you. July 16, 2023 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Sorry to hear about the IG issues. I hope that it will be resolved soon. July 19, 2023 at 2:17am Reply

  • Mary Ellen Lapsansky: Congratulations on the publication of “Rooster House,” Victoria! So pleased to see the wonderful reviews. Just ordered my copy and so look forward to reading it. July 17, 2023 at 11:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Mary Ellen! I hope that you’ll enjoy my book. July 19, 2023 at 2:16am Reply

  • Deborah: Congratulations, Victoria! I am so looking forward to reading your book- it will be delivered tomorrow. My maternal grandparents were from Lviv and I am excited to learn more about Ukraine through your eyes. July 30, 2023 at 10:17am Reply

  • Susan B: Throughly enjoyed your memoir. My maternal grandmother was from the Ukraine so your book touched me on a personal level. My Baba never wanted to talk about life in the Ukraine and definitely believed in food, family and living in the present. To learn what your family (and probably others as well) went through was eye opening. More importantly their resiliency and their love of family warmed my heart. I think of my Ukrainian roots every time I make potato dumplings. Thanks for sharing your story. September 13, 2023 at 12:15pm Reply

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