Blog Tour: Irma Voth by Miriam Toews

 “That rare coming-of-age story able to blend the dark with the uplifting, Irma Voth follows a young Mennonite woman, vulnerable yet wise beyond her years, who carries a terrible family secret with her on a remarkable journey to survival and redemption.

Nineteen-year-old Irma lives in a rural Mennonite community in Mexico. She has already been cast out of her family for marrying a young Mexican ne’er-do-well she barely knows, although she remains close to her rebellious younger sister and yearns for the lost intimacy with her mother. With a husband who proves elusive and often absent, a punishing father, and a faith in God damaged beyond repair, Irma appears trapped in an untenable and desperate situation. When a celebrated Mexican filmmaker and his crew arrive from Mexico City to make a movie about the insular community in which she was raised, Irma is immediately drawn to the outsiders and is soon hired as a translator on the set. But her father, intractable and domineering, is determined to destroy the film and get rid of the interlopers. His action sets Irma on an irrevocable path toward something that feels like freedom.”

The thing that kept running through my mind the entire time I was reading Irma Voth was that the book was very much like an eclectic independent film…not unlike the one being filmed in the book. This is not a book that flows along conventionally..it darts and veers, never giving any clue as to where the reader will travel next. The beginning of the book feels minimalistic as the reader searches for their bearings in a story where very little is explained. As the story progresses…and as Irma progresses the reader receives more and more detail and plot. However the storyline is always somewhat scattered and searching.

I can think of a number of people that would adore the vagueness this book often emitted, unfortunately I am not one of them. The story just never really came together for me and Irma never really grew into herself in the way that I wished. I see this book being one that a reader will either love or hate…much like many of those eclectic independent films that I mentioned. I guess sometimes you just get it or sometimes you don’t.

But don’t take my word for it….Make sure to check out the other stops on the Irma Voth Blog Tour here.

9 Comments

Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, New Books

9 responses to “Blog Tour: Irma Voth by Miriam Toews

  1. I am really unsure about this one. I have a copy of it on my kindle so I will give it a chance.

  2. This doesn’t sound like the book for me either.

  3. Miriam Toews’ books are a bit more challenging than the average read, but her writing and characters are so worth it most of the time. I haven’t read this one yet — but being a Canadian prairie librarian I’m sure I’ll read it sooner rather than later! if only because most of my patrons will be reading it (she’s very big out here, in Mennoniteland).

    • stilettostorytime

      I could see how having some relation to the subject matter would make a huge difference. I think for me that separation and not really being able to put a lot into context was a major problem. However someone more familiar…would probably not experience that same thing. Enjoy!

  4. Pingback: Miriam Toews, author of Irma Voth, on tour September 2011 | TLC Book Tours

  5. I’m sorry that this one didn’t end up being the right book for you but I appreciate you taking the time to review it for the tour.

    • stilettostorytime

      Thanks Heather…every book has it’s audience. I truly believe that. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea! But on to the next…=)

  6. Wow, it sounds really interesting especially from a writer’s viewpoint!

    Brittany Roshelle

    The Write Stuff

  7. Thanks for the review…..I really enjoyed The Flying Troutman, but I know exactly what you mean by her overall tone being vague.

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