*** All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

All My Puny Sorrows is the story of an overwhelmed woman, hilariously told despite the very sad subject matter. Her beloved sister, a gifted pianist with an apparently perfect life, wants to die. She is trying to keep her safe (but perhaps she should help her die, as is her wish), and meanwhile worries about how her teenage daughter is behaving thousands of miles away. Throughout the book are many memories of the women’s childhood, in a small Mennonite town in which their family did not quite fit but with lots of kindness and love within the family itself. I loved the sweetness and sadness beneath the humor.

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