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A complicated kindness : a novel / Miriam Toews.

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  • 9 of 9 copies available at Bibliomation.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethel Public Library F TOEWS (Text to phone) 34030092376091 Adult Fiction Available -
Gunn Memorial Library - Washington FIC TOE (Text to phone) 34055101012890 Adult Fiction Available -
Kent Library Association - Kent F TOE (Text to phone) 33410000406746 Adult Fiction Available -
Mark Twain Library Association - Redding FIC Toe (Text to phone) 33620107838670 Adult Fiction Available -
Milford Public Library TOEWS Miriam (Text to phone) 34013076455693 Adult Fiction Available -
Norfolk Library FIC TOE (Text to phone) 36058010109680 Adult Fiction Available -
Plumb Memorial Library - Huntington Branch FIC TOE (Text to phone) 34025096023673 Adult Fiction Available -
Ridgefield Library FIC TOEWS (Text to phone) 34010100366656 Adult Fiction Available -
Southbury Public Library TOEWS (Text to phone) 34019101316214 Adult Fiction Available -

Record details

Genre: Domestic fiction.
Bildungsromans.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 1582433216
A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness
by Toews, Miriam
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BookList Review

A Complicated Kindness

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nichol is a Mennonite, which, she wryly observes, is the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you're a teenager. Because Mennonites shun modern ways, Nomi's repressively fundamentalist community on the plains of Manitoba is a tourist attraction for Americans searching for a glimpse backwards in time. Half of Nomi's family, the better-looking half as she puts it, is missing. Her older sister has fled the stifling strictures of their hometown, while her mother has also vanished after having been excommunicated by her own brother, the local minister, whom Nomi dubs The Mouth of Darkness. That leaves the 16-year-old to look after her gentle, bewildered father and to deal with her own loneliness and persistent memories of how her family came undone. For Nomi, coping becomes an exercise in increasingly rebellious, sometimes self-destructive behavior, punctuated by pot-fuelled fantasies of escaping to New York to become a roadie for Lou Reed. Canadian author Toews, who grew up in a similar community, raises a number of fascinating, beautifully dramatized questions about the toll unquestioning faith can take on the human spirit. Her episodic, highly introspective first novel--part of an emerging subgenre of crossover adult books that might have been published as YA--maintains a careful balance between hilarity and heartbreak that most readers will find unforgettable. --Michael Cart Copyright 2004 Booklist

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 1582433216
A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness
by Toews, Miriam
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School Library Journal Review

A Complicated Kindness

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Adult/High School-Growing up in an isolated Canadian Mennonite community in the 1980s, Nomi knows that there is a world beyond the single Main Street of her town. A senior in high school, she is drifting downward in a haze of drugs, thoughts of sex, and lethargy, knowing she needs to escape this repressive, fundamentalist community but unable or unwilling to take the first step. Her gentle, somewhat befuddled father tries to support and understand her, but he is dealing with a wife who left to prevent his having to "shun" her and an elder daughter who left with her boyfriend-and her mother's blessing. He slowly sells off their possessions and ultimately drifts away himself as a (still gentle) prod to Nomi to leave. The girl's seemingly random thoughts, often charmingly humorous, lead her gradually to see the hopelessness of living in a place the tourists come to visit "for a glimpse backwards in time," and the possibilities of building a life "away." Although Nomi's story is depressing, her wry observations reflect normal adolescent angst leavened with a distinctly parochial irreverence. Teens with real issues as well as those who would benefit by realizing that they don't have it so bad will find sadness and hope in Nomi's thoughtful musings and root for her survival. The story is a metaphor for those torn between a present lack of fulfillment and the fear of moving toward the unfamiliar-in other words, growing up.-Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 1582433216
A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness
by Toews, Miriam
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Publishers Weekly Review

A Complicated Kindness

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

A 16-year-old rebels against the conventions of her strict Mennonite community and tries to come to terms with the collapse of her family in this insightful, irreverent coming-of-age novel. In bleak rural Manitoba, Nomi longs for her older sister, Tash ("she was so earmarked for damnation it wasn't even funny"), and mother, Trudie, each of whom has recently fled fundamentalist Christianity and their town. Her gentle, uncommunicative father, Ray, isn't much of a sounding board as Nomi plunges into bittersweet memory and grapples with teenage life in a "kind of a cult with pretend connections to some normal earthly conventions." Once a "curious, hopeful child" Nomi now relies on biting humor as her life spins out of control-she stops attending school, shaves her head and wanders around in a marijuana-induced haze-while Ray sells off most of their furniture, escapes on all-night drives and increasingly withdraws into himself. Still, she and Ray are linked in a tender, if fragile, partnership as each slips into despair. Though the narration occasionally unravels into distracting stream of consciousness, the unsentimental prose and the poignant character interactions sustain reader interest. Bold, tender and intelligent, this is a clear-eyed exploration of belief and belonging, and the irresistible urge to escape both. Agent, Knopf Canada. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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