Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Pages: 320
Received: Given to by a friend

Release Date: October 4, 2004
Buy from Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this stunning coming-of-age novel, award-winner Miriam Toews balances grief and hope in the voice of a witty, beleaguered teenager whose family is shattered by fundamentalist Christianity

"Half of our family, the better-looking half, is missing," Nomi Nickel tells us at the beginning of A Complicated Kindness. Left alone with her sad, peculiar father, her days are spent piecing together why her mother and sister have disappeared and contemplating her inevitable career at Happy Family Farms, a chicken slaughterhouse on the outskirts of East Village. Not the East Village in New York City where Nomi would prefer to live, but an oppressive town founded by Mennonites on the cold, flat plains of Manitoba, Canada.

This darkly funny novel is the world according to the unforgettable Nomi, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion and in the shattered remains of a family it destroyed. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of an eccentric, loving family that falls apart as each member lands on a collision course with the only community any of them have ever known. A work of fierce humor and tragedy by a writer who has taken the American market by storm, this searing, tender, comic testament to family love will break your heart.

My Review:

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I found it to be a very easy and light read. This was a really cute Canadian story about living in a Mennonite community and the difficulties surrounding it. Nomi Nickel is the narrator and it's interesting how she describes everything in her town, one of my favourite lines in the book was about how all the town was surrounded by only fields. I enjoy how the book is all written in the way of how a person's mind works, I felt that I was in Nomi's mind and feeling everything she was feeling.

I was a little nervous when I first began reading it thinking that it was going to be hard to follow because of how it jumps around between what happened in the past with her family and what she is going through now. Miriam Toews does well with it though, she writes like you're following a person's train of thought and trying to understand how everything works together.

Miriam does a great job at showing how different people feel in the community and how many want to get out but can't leave because of family (which is the basis of the story). I also really enjoyed that she brought in the idea of excommunication that the Mennonites have. I found myself connecting with Nomi, which is something I love in the books I read.

This is a Canadian novel I recommend reading!

Rating: 4 out 5 comfy couches

Other works by Miriam Toews:

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...