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Uncle Barb's

"Life was cruel and hilarious
all at once."

- Sandra Cisneros -

Joy

a complicated kindness

Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews

This book is as fearless as the main character, 16 year old Nomi Nichols. Not that Nomi is fearless, but she is not surprised.

Life in her Mennonite family is chaos while she contemplates her own ideas of life on earth. The religious community is so strange to me, but Nomi is so familiar. Remember how it felt to deeply empathize with Arturo the Flipper Boy in Geek Love? Nomi will infuse your mind in that same way. Toews is dashingly smart, I want to make a comparison to Camus and then again to Kafka, Sartre, Tom Robbins.  Perhaps it would be apt to compare Toews writing to the writing of music, layer on layer that does not reveal the complexity, but sounds magnificent. The meaning of life discussed in all its complexity in a fresh new way. Loved it.

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