“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.