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A Complicated Kindness


A Complicated Kindness Cover

ISBN13: 9781582433219
ISBN10: 1582433216
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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Denise Barnett, May 25, 2009 (view all comments by Denise Barnett)
Like a female Holden Caulfield, the 17-year old Mennonite (or meno's, as she calls them) and narrator, Nomi, is dead-pan funny. Like "The Catcher in the Rye", this book is darkly humorous but most effectively bitterseet - in a way that makes the reader want to take Nomi in and give her the family life back that she so desperately wants.
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Sporkafied, June 3, 2007 (view all comments by Sporkafied)
I thought the book was darkly funny, but also at times heartbreakingly sad. Some portions were a tad unclear and the book also lagged at times, but you don't have to wait very long for it to pick up again. Overall, it wasn't at all what I expected but still a decent read.
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Product Details

Toews, Miriam
Counterpoint LLC
Fathers and daughters
Teenage girls
General Fiction
Domestic fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.38x5.78x.94 in. .88 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Complicated Kindness New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Counterpoint Press - English 9781582433219 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sharp and often howlingly funny — but insistently generous — A Complicated Kindness introduces sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel, straining under the pressure of family, boys, and authority, common enough conflicts drawn here in extravagant, heartrending detail.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This is simply the funniest, sweetest, coolest book of 2004. If you like Canadian Mennonites, you'll love A Complicated Kindness.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Miriam Toews has written a novel shot through with aching sadness, the spectre of loss, and unexpected humor....It might seem an odd metaphor to use about someone who has authored such a vivid, anguished indictment of religious fundamentalism, but Miriam Toews writes like an angel."
"Review" by , "Toews recreates the stultifying world of an exasperated Mennonite teenager in a small town where nothing happens with mesmerizing authenticity."
"Review" by , "The narrative voice is so strong, it could carry the least eventful, least weird adolescence in the world and still be as transfixing.... Toews' novel is a wonderfully acute, moving, warm, sceptical, frustrated portrait of fundamentalist religion....The book is fascinating, and resonant, and inexorable..."
"Review" by , "A Complicated Kindness is a delight from beginning to end. The humour might be of the blackest sort ('People here just can't wait to die, it seems. It's the main event.'), but the cumulative effect is liberating and defiantly joyful."
"Review" by , "Wise, edgy, unforgettable, the heroine of Miriam Toews' knockout novel is Canada's next classic."
"Review" by , "A Complicated Kindness is affecting, impeccably written, and has real authority, but most of all it is immediate. You — as they say — are waking up in a crazy Bible camp, or witnessing an adolescent tour guide tear off her uniform and make a break for the highway.
"Review" by , "A Complicated Kindness struck me like a blow to the solar plexus. Toews, somewhat like Mordecai Richler, makes you feel the pain of her protagonist while elucidating the predicament of her people, always mixing a large dose of empathy with her iconoclastic sense of the ridiculous."
"Review" by , "In a novel full of original characters...Toews has created a feisty but appealing young heroine....As an indictment against religious fundamentalism, A Complicated Kindness is timely. As a commentary on character it is fresh and inventive, and as storytelling it is first rate."
"Synopsis" by ,
A landmark literary novel, balancing unbearable sadness and beauty in the voice of a witty, beleaguered teen-ager whose family is destroyed by fundamentalist Christianity
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