Wednesday 14 January 2015

Book Club: The Flying Troutmans
Book: The Flying Troutmans
Author: Mirian Toews
Amazon Summary: 
A road novel helped along by a lovably nutty cast, Toews's latest (after A Complicated Kindness) follows a ragtag crew as they crisscross America. Hattie, recently dumped in Paris by her moody, adjective-hating boyfriend, returns home to Canada after receiving an emergency phone call from her niece. Turns out, Hattie's sister, Min, is back in the psych ward, and her kids, 11-year-old Thebes and 15-year-old Logan, are fending for themselves. Thus the quirky trio—purple-haired, wise-beyond-her-years Thebes, recently expelled brother Logan and overwhelmed Hattie—embark on a road trip to the States to find the kids' long-missing father. What follows is a Little Miss Sunshine–like quest in which the characters learn about themselves and each other as they weather car repairs, sleazy motel rooms and encounters with bizarre people. Toews's gift for writing precocious children and the story's antic momentum redeem the familiar set-up, and if the ending feels a bit rushed, it's largely because it's tough to let Toews's characters go. (Oct.)
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What I have to say: 
Someone that I do work with, lent me her copy of this book to read (we frequently exchange and recommend books for each other). I had heard of this book and I had heard what a great writer Mirian Toews is. Plus she is a Canadian author and this book has Canadian content.

Where do I begin? This was beautifully written and the characters had a lot of depth and layers. This book really focused on developing the characters; who the characters were, their experience, was the main and captivating storyline, at least to me. The actual plot; aunt road tripping across the USA with her niece and nephew to find their father, while their mother is in the psych ward. 
It took me months (3-5 months) to read this entire book. When I picked it up and read, I was engaged for a bit, but then would grow bored or tired and stop reading it. It would then take me weeks to pick up the book again and continue. I actually only finished the book because I felt I had it for long enough and had to return it to the owner. Otherwise, I'd still be reading it. I can definitely see how some people can become engrossed in this book and not be able to put it down...I was just not one of those people.

Also, I didn't like the ending. It just...ended. Like, 'We reached our destination. The end'...there was no climax or revelation or...nothing. 

Final verdict: It's not a 'must read' to me nor is it something I will openly recommend. But, if someone asks me about it or it comes up in conversation, I'll tell people even though it wasn't for me, it's still worth a read.

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