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Only Miriam Toews could write a novel so lovely, so sad, so true—and yet incorporate quirky humor. It’s about the love of sisters and family, about striving for improvement, and about suicide. This last subject fascinates some readers because the author’s father and sister both committed suicide; it also brings to light some anger with God.

Strands from Toew’s Mennonite roots permeate the book, yet be cautioned that some sex and profanity show up as signposts pointing to deeper issues. (Knopf Canada)

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