May 28, 2013 In life

A Complicated Kindness – Book Review

Recently Read by Miriam Toews

I’m having great luck lately with fiction. I mean, we could call it luck. Or we could be straight-up and say my used-book-store-shopping-skills are growing every month. Picked this novel up because of the prize winner sticker on the front, read the synposis in ten seconds, saw the author was Canadian. Sold. Started to read on Friday morning, and like most good books, was finished within 36 hours.

“A Complicated Kindness” by Miriam Toews is set in a fictional small-town in Manitoba, called East Village. The novel is narrated as a memoir by a girl namd Nomi Nickel. Nomi is embarrassed by her traditional Mennonite family and would rather live anywhere than East Village. Anywhere would do – but preferably New York City. An obvious parallel is quickly drawn between Toews’ writing style and the coming-of-age classic “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Dry, sarcastic humour. First person narrative. Short sentences. Humour writing gets me. I continually found myself re-reading paragraphs because they were so.dang.good. Toews is a treat. She made me want to write more. The last page was a disappointment – not because I didn’t like the ending – but because it meant the book was over. It’s been a while since I felt that way about a novel. I am tempted to pick it up and read it again. Right now. That’s how much I enjoyed it.

Buy it. Or borrow it from me. 5/5


  • Becca

    I might just read it because of the last name of the author :)

  • Em

    This was just one I those weeks when I just needed a good book reccomendation. Excited to dive into this one!

  • I always love seeing what you recommend to read. I snagged this at the library and love it! Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

  • Just reserved it for a camping trip I’m taking next week! So we’ll see :) I always love grabbing books due to recommendations.