Irma Voth

Irma Voth

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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The stifling, reclusive life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth, recently married and more recently deserted, is turned on its head when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the strict religious community in which she and her family live. She is drawn to the creative passion and warmth of their world but her domineering father is determined to keep her from it at all costs. The confrontation between them sets her on an irrevocable path towards something that feels like freedom as she and her young sister, Aggie, wise beyond her teenage years, flee to the city, upheld only by their love for each other and their smart wit, even as they begin to understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, ©2011.
ISBN: 9780307400680
Characteristics: 255 p. ; 21 cm.

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j
jtkretzschmar
Dec 21, 2013

As far as books by Miriam Toews go, this was definitely not my favorite. I was not a fan of the writing style, nor was I a fan of the characters. Regardless of all that, this author can tell a story. She may be one of the best story tellers of our time; once again she was able to put herself inside the head of the protagonist girl and really make you feel like she was being true to her heritage.

l
leensbo
Jun 25, 2013

There's something very beautiful about this book. It's quiet and at times surreal, and often very sad. It did remind me of Toews' first novel, A Complicated Kindness, which is by no means a bad thing. I recommend it.

o
occy
Jun 17, 2013

Didn't enjoy this novel at all. Struggled to get half way thru it and finally gave up.

u
uncommonreader
Jun 03, 2013

Toews writes with humour about young Mennonite women escaping the patriarchy of their famililes and religion, but the book is a variation on earlier novels. I would like this gifted writer to turn to other themes.

m
mythoughts
Jan 21, 2013

It took a few pages to get into the writing style, but after that I was totally absorbed in this story. It's beautifully written and one of the most satisfying books I've ever read. Outstanding.

There is nothing humorous in this story, it goes from human tragedy to tragedy and still Irma struggles to make a life for herself in the face of grim parenting and a surreal culture in rural Mexico. Irma bears the burden of her mandate to always tell the truth. She blames herself for the crimes of her father, the cowardice of her mother, the unrestrained rebellion of her oldest sister and the emotional neglect of her errant husband. Irma believes she is the fulcrum of bad behaviour in her family and her community. The most poignant vignette for me took place when a love starved Irma went to confession in a Catholic church in the hope of hearing the priest call her ‘my daughter’. Towes does not reward the reader with closure after we have waded through all that sadness. A well written story but grim reading for the sensitive or optimistic reader.

pomtree Oct 25, 2012

This is an astounding book. It tells the story in the first person of a young woman who flees her Mennonite family in Mexico along with her two younger sisters to escape her father's rage. As the story unfolds, you learn of the ways that her actions have led to tragedy and her struggle to come to terms with forgiveness. The writing is sparse and unembellished but it is so true, so painfully, searingly honest that it can leave you breathless.

e
elinpat
Nov 03, 2011

A wonderful book about a mennonite woman whose father is patriarchal in the extreme. They live in a mennonite colony in Mexico. Irma varries jorge in the drug trade, they live in the father's other house and take care of the chickens for him. Jorge leaves and a film company comes to the place to make a movie and Irma's life changes dramatically. She is a strong character. naive but smart and loving. Her sister has long ago left and Irma discovers what has happened y her which is the dramatic ending. Tear inducing and suspensful.

goldie1234 Sep 29, 2011

Great book- A graet follow up to A complicated Kindness

v
velvetcactus
Aug 13, 2011

Easily the quirkiest novel I have ever read. After Tom Stoppard's offerings of course.

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