Ukrainian Refugee Turned Author Releases Magical First Novel

Nataliia Doroshko, a resident of Henley since July 2022, has ventured into the world of children’s literature with her new book, ‘HENRY and KOVIN: The Beginning’. Nataliia, a Ukrainian refugee who came to Henley in July 2022, celebrated the launch of her book, ‘HENRY and KOVIN: The Beginning’, at Jacobini Wine Gallery last Thursday.

Nataliia worked as a lawyer in Ukraine for 12 years, but unfortunately has not been able to find suitable work in the field here. Consequently, she chose to turn her talents to writing, with the help of a translation app and her English teacher.

Over the past year, she crafted ‘HENRY and KOVIN: The Beginning’, a tale aimed at young adults, set in a mystical realm inhabited by dragons and witches. The story follows Henry, a 16-year-old boy from Maidenhead, exploring themes of adoption, superpowers, and magic, accompanied by illustrations created by a computer programme.

During the launch event, Nataliia expressed her gratitude to her teacher and English friends for their unwavering support, remarking, “My teacher helped me a lot with translation for this book, and a lot of my English friends believe in me, probably more than I believe in myself!” She added, “I want to say that I am glad to be in England. I feel safe and comfortable in this country. Around me are just such nice people.”

Jacobini Wine Gallery embraced the magical theme of the occasion by concocting Kovin monster cocktails, featuring the book’s main characters on specially crafted straws. Nataliia approached Jacobini about hosting her event after hearing that they recently hosted Kirsten Dougal’s book launch.

Kirsten Jones, from Jacobini, said, “I think the word is spreading. Jacobini is really interested in offering something more than wine. We offer cultural events, art private views and so on. We like the place to be busy and for people to enjoy it really, so this is a great opportunity, and many more to come hopefully.” Jacobini do not charge for the use of the space, and welcome people to get in touch if looking to host similar events.

Nataliia’s book, ‘HENRY and KOVIN: The Beginning’, is now available for purchase on Amazon for £12.

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