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A Complicated Kindness
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel longs to hang out with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull in New York Citys East Village. Instead shes trapped in East Village, Manitoba, a small town whose population is Mennonite: the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if youre a teenager. East Village is a town with no train and no bar whose job prospects consist of slaughtering chickens at the Happy Family Farms abattoir or churning butter for tourists at the pioneer village. Ministered with an iron fist by Nomis uncle Hans, a.k.a. The Mouth of Darkness, East Village is a town thats tall on rules and short on fun: no dancing, drinking, rock n roll, recreational sex, swimming, make-up, jewellery, playing pool, going to cities or staying up past nine oclock. As the novel begins, Nomi struggles to cope with the back-to-back departures three years earlier of Tash, her beautiful and mouthy sister, and Trudie, her warm and spirited mother. She lives with her father, Ray, a sweet yet hapless schoolteacher whose love is unconditional but whose parenting skills amount to benign neglect. Father and daughter deal with their losses in very different ways. Ray, a committed elder of the church, seeks to create an artificial sense of order by reorganizing the city dump late at night. Nomi favours chaos as she tries to blunt her pain through drugs and imagination. Together they live in a limbo of unanswered questions. Nomis first person narrative shifts effortlessly between the present and the past. Throughout, in a voice both defiant and vulnerable, she offers hilarious and heartbreaking reflections on life, death, family, faith and love. Winner of the Governor Generals Literary Award and a Giller Prize finalist, A Complicated Kindness earned both critical acclaim and a long and steady position on our national bestseller lists.
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review
emilycoc
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Mehso-so

“Complicated” indeed! Not quite sure how else to describe my feelings about this one. (Also I accidentally spilled a glass of wine on it at one point and am pretty sad about that).

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emilycoc
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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It‘s been a minute or two since I did some reading! I go through streaks of time where I just can‘t find the energy to pick up my book. Sometimes (often) it‘s just easier to stare at the screen and watch a show. Sometimes I have so much on the go that my brain is too tired to try and make it through a few pages, let alone a whole chapter. But tonight, I decided to take a break, run a bubble bath, and spend some time catching up on my reading. ❤️

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LaraS
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Taking a break from the #screamathon until I can get to the library for more spooky material.

Not sure if it‘s because this is so different from my other October reads but this one seems a bit slow. Having some trouble getting into it. 🤷‍♀️

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emilycoc
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Dragged myself out of the house for a few hours and stopped to read at a coffee place. Disclaimer: it‘s a big cup of apple cider (even though it looks like black coffee - trust me lol) #readinginacoffeeshop

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emilycoc
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Found this on my shelf and decided to make it my next read. This is a brand new read for me - I felt the cover bend for the first time as I opened it! These reviews are promising 😊 #miriamtoews #canadianauthors #canadianliterature #tbr

7 likes1 stack add
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Come-read-with-me
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Pickpick

This is a bittersweet story of a young woman trying to live in a situation that was thrust upon her, not one that she had chosen. Even though she works slaughtering chickens on a farm, she has an optimism about her situation that she hopes will help to carry her away from the harrowing-but-funny life she lives. The writing style is strong and solutions to problems highly unexpected. Towes tackles challenging subjects but she is worth reading.

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Liberty
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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I am so happy to see all the attention Miriam Toews is getting for WOMEN TALKING, because it is INCREDIBLE. I also love ALL MY PUNY SORROWS and have wanted to read more of her books. So I could not be more excited that Counterpoint Press has published these gorgeous new editions of her backlist. I can‘t wait to dive in! 📚❤️

Christine Oh, exciting! I loved Women Talking so much that as soon as I finished it I started All My Puny Sorrows (and loved that, too, of course)! 7mo
88 likes4 stack adds1 comment
review
Blaire
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Pickpick

I loved this book, but don‘t think it would be for everyone. Very plot light, it is told through Nomi‘s experiences as a teenager in a Mennonite town. Her mom and sister disappear, Nomi is left with her dad to push against the strictures of her town. I loved Nomi‘s wry observations about life and laughed out loud a number of times. Found her to be a real teenage voice whose cutting view of the world was spot on.

Blaire Also as a native Manitoban the setting was very familiar. 9mo
LeahBergen True! I very much think that knowing Manitoba (and Steinbach or other Mennonite towns) adds to your enjoyment of this novel. (edited) 9mo
Reggie Great review! Stacked. 9mo
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Cathythoughts Sounds really good. I did love All My Puny Sorrows , she is a lovely writer. 9mo
Blaire @LeahBergen yes! I could picture the exact scenes and having spent time at falcon lake as a kid there was some nice nostalgia in there too. 9mo
Blaire @Reggie thank you! 9mo
Blaire @Cathythoughts this was my first Toews and I loved her style. 9mo
82 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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Blaire
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Really liking the tone and voice in this one so far. #cafedumonde #nola

Louise Did they give you enough powdered sugar? 😂 9mo
LeahBergen Oh, I love that place! 9mo
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Bookish.SAM 😍 this pic makes me so nostalgic for NOLA!! 9mo
Mtroiano 🤤 9mo
Blaire @Louise I scooped some of it into my coffee!! #breakfastofchampions 😍 9mo
Blaire @LeahBergen @bookish.SAM I‘ve been lucky enough to go the last two years. Such a great city! And yes, beignets are the best way to start the day. 😍 9mo
76 likes7 comments
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howjessreads
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Day 15 of #31bookpics - book club! I‘m currently failing at my online book club. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ I was supposed to read this months ago! Also, oddly, it‘s the second selection with a chicken on the cover. (The other was David Benioff‘s City of Thieves.)

66 likes1 stack add
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quietjenn
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Seems appropriate that the first day of outside reading this year happens on Easter. Have a happy one, all.

Skeebies05 Enjoy! It‘s 25 degrees here 😤(KC) 2y
quietjenn @Skeebies05 Brrrr! I think it's supposed to turn colder again this week, so it seemed necessary to take advantage. 2y
Blaire I brought this with me on my current trip...hoping to get to it. 2y
59 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Moray_Reads
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Wow, what an amazing double milestone! Congrats @erinreads. I loved Miriam Toews All My Puny Sorrows but I've never read anything else of hers and I've never heard of the tragedy in Salt to the Sea, it seems like great historical fiction. #50kGiveaway

Hollie Salt to the Sea is fantastic! 2y
Carolyn-HHI I just read Salt to the Sea and it was outstanding (and also very educational). 2y
30 likes2 comments
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Natasha.C.Barnes
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Hey @erinreads , congrats on the milestone! And thanks for putting me on to all these books you loved this year, I hadn't heard of some of them! After looking through them all, I think these two top my list! #50kgiveaway

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merelybookish
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Toews's debut novel about a girl's coming-of-age in a Mennonite community. It won lots of Canadian literary awards. #complicated @Cinfhen

Cinfhen I've never read this author before but she's on my #somanybookssolittletime list 2y
LeahBergen I liked this one. 👍🏻 2y
59 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Jas16
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Being 16 is #complicated enough but Nomi is also dealing with the disappearance of her mother and sister, the rift religion made in her family, and life in a small town. #augustgrrrls

Cinfhen Stacking this~ sounds great 👍🏻 2y
charissharpe I read this, slow going but on the whole I enjoyed it. 2y
49 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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erinreads
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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I'm in love with this book. I'm only 75 pages in and I know it will probably rip my heart out but I am ready. for. it. 💕 And now it's making me want to reread All My Puny Sorrows all over again.

saresmoore Gah! Me too! 2y
saresmoore I mean, well, I'm not currently reading it, but your posts are inspiring all the feelings. 2y
Cathythoughts Complicated kindness ! Interesting 📖 2y
Bibliogeekery Such a great book by such a great author! 2y
64 likes8 stack adds4 comments
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erinreads
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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✔️Tea ☕️
✔️Apple cider donut fresh from the farm 🍩
✔️Excellent book 📖
✔️VACATION 💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼

I never want to go back to work. Can reading and eating donuts be my full time job? Thanks.

monkeygirlsmama Only if it can be mine too! 🤣 2y
EvieBee Lovely! I wish the same. I haven't read anything else by this author except 2y
erinreads @monkeygirlsmama Deal. Let's go into business together! 😂😂😂 2y
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erinreads @EvieBee Neither have I. I LOVED All My Puny Sorrows and this one is so good so far! 2y
Cathythoughts Perfectly perfect 👌 2y
BarbaraJean Ohhhh, this picture screams "Fall" to me and now I want cold weather and rain and tea and apple-baked things. And vacation in which to read. ?Enjoy--this looks and sounds delightful! 2y
kspenmoll Perfect job!!! 2y
70 likes7 comments
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erinreads
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Gonna start doing this every time someone interrupts me while reading. 🙃

BekahB HAA! Love it. 😂 2y
britt_brooke 😆 2y
saresmoore I totally do this as a mom! Mine is more like a low growl through gritted teeth, though. 😬 2y
55 likes3 comments
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amyrabbitt
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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"Our textbook could have been called Proven Theories We Decry."

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teebe
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Some #commonwealthauthors (specifically, Canadian) going clockwise: Emma Donoghue (Irish-Canadian), Margaret Atwood, Anne Marie MacDonald, Emily St. John Mandel, Miriam Toews, and Erin Bow. #canlit #readthenorth #marchintoreading

LeahBergen 🇨🇦👏🏻 3y
33 likes1 comment
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Bibliogeekery
Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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#bookshelftourism New Brunswick style! 😍📚

BooksForEmpathy Love this. So much!!! 3y
74 likes1 comment
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PurpleyPumpkin
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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There are so many great #womenwriters that it was hard to narrow my scope. I decided to focus on Canadian authors. As I was at work today, it wasn't hard to pull this picture together. I've read all of these and they were all enjoyable. #somethingforsept #septphotochallenge #day17

Bibliogeekery I love all of those books! 3y
RealLifeReading Carol Shields❤️ 3y
PurpleyPumpkin @Bibliogeekery @RealLifeReading I read all of these years ago. I think it's time to reread because they're all so great! 3y
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TheCanuckReader Love me some Canadian #womenwriters 3y
PurpleyPumpkin @TheCanuckReader Absolutely!👍🏼 3y
KVanRead ❤️🇨🇦❤️ ! 3y
61 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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melissajayne
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Yet another book starting today; need something "lighter" to read.

Lindy Hmmm. Define 'lighter.' For a story about a motherless, sisterless teen living with a very sad father and facing a future as a worker in a chicken processing plant, this book is pretty funny. I loved it. 🐓 3y
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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guis
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Another Canadian favourite.

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review
Keatsknitter
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
Pickpick

Very difficult subject matter, but timely topic. Suicide. On a deeper level, how much would you do for your sibling you love? What makes a satisfactory life? Where do you find enjoyment? Characters strongly portrayed.

Keatsknitter I made a grave mistake...my review was for Toews novel, All My Puny Sorrows. My apologies. 4y
Spiderfelt You can copy this review, delete it and then post it again for the correct title. 4y
1 like1 stack add2 comments