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A Complicated Kindness (2004)

de Miriam Toews

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,099645,970 (3.64)202
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.… (més)
  1. 00
    The Romance Reader de Pearl Abraham (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both first person coming of age novels about young girls in repressive religous communities.
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» Mira també 202 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 64 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I was so impressed with the start of this book because it was so comical with exactly the type of sarcastic humour that I enjoy. However, it did go on too long and for no reason that I can discern. Her trips to Abe Hill and The Comb's trailer kept repeating themselves. I did feel for Nomi but got tired of the wanderings with no point. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
she is brilliant ( )
  Overgaard | Dec 17, 2020 |
Toews seminal text holds up. Nomi's angst, questions, and profound grief are rendered in a way that captures the spirit of adolescence without being dated or awkward. I did wish for a bit more explication of her mother's turn away from her father as that seemed to hang in the background and came to the surface rather abruptly. Overall I am reminded why she's one of my favorite authors and really the joy, wonder, and sorrow of living.
  b.masonjudy | May 24, 2020 |
If 3.5 stars were an option...but I'll error on the side of generosity. I know something of the world Toews describes. I found it entertaining and rewarding. I did grow tired of it about 2/3 of the way through. I felt like telling the author, "ok, I've got it. Move on." For all it's very interesting look into Nomi's teenage mind, somehow it lacked some depth. Even stoned and confused, I suspect more would be going on inside. ( )
  rsairs | Nov 3, 2019 |
I normally avoid books which have won any kind of prize, or even been nominated. But I read this for a book club. My usual practice was thoroughly vindicated. A Canadian Prairie Catcher in the Rye: teenage angst, conflicting emotions, sentiment, self-pity. Extremely repetitious. Full of cheap shots at easy targets. An unconvincing ending, but by that point I had ceased to care.
Postscript: Book club attendee, a CanLit professor with personal and professional Mennonite credentials, noted that in this novel Toews does not attempt an accurate portrayal of the Mennonite community in which she was raised, so what I perceived as cheap shots at it were perhaps more nuanced and part of a more complicated agenda. Didn’t make me like the book any better, however.
1 vota booksaplenty1949 | Nov 1, 2019 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 64 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Those of us who felt oppressed as teenagers can easily recall how any act of rule-bending, whether it was puffing a cigarette or starting an ill-advised romance, could seem an enormous yet thrilling risk of outsized proportions.
 
[Toews] has produced a work of fiction that resounds with truth.... That is at once a profoundly funny book, and a profoundly sad one, which will often leave readers wondering if they should laugh or cry.
afegit per GYKM | editaWinnipeg Free Press
 
Unforgettable.
afegit per GYKM | editaPeople
 
Exquisitely written and faceted.... Heartbreaking and humorous... From beginning to end the book is unusually calibrated and incredibly compelling.
afegit per GYKM | editaThe Guardian
 
A darkly funny and provocative novel.
afegit per GYKM | editaO, The Oprah Magazine
 

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I live with my father, Ray Nickel, in that low brick bungalow out on highway number twelve.
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Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.
Love is everything. And I think that we all use whatever is in our power, whatever is within our reach, to attempt to keep alive the love we've felt.
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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.

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Mitjana: (3.64)
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