A breath taking account of love and loss and grief and relationships told with heartbreaking honesty.
All My Puny Sorrows
Faber and Faber Ltd
Faber & Faber
A funny, serious and heart felt new novel about the biggest question of all.
Yolanda is conflicted. Her sister Elf has battled depression for her whole adult life, and is in a psychiatric ward under permanent observation after attempting suicide – again.
Yolanda has always looked up to Elf as her talented and beautiful older sister. She loves her with a fierce passion and wants to believe in the possibility of a future together, one in which Elf gets better. But it’s looking unlikely and Yolanda has to decide; if the person you love is tired of living, is it kinder just to let them go?
All My Puny Sorrows (a line from a Coleridge poem) is written out of Miriam Toews’s personal experience and is, in some ways, a grown-up version of A Complicated Kindness, the novel that catapulted Toews to her bestselling status in Canada. This story allows Toews’s beguiling narrative voice – her easy, snappy, darkly comic intimacy – to sing through.
Raw, this book has left me feeling raw, my emotions exposed and jagged. A stunning read of momentous importance – never have I read this side of the story of depression and mental pain told so truthfully and meaningfully; told with so much realism. The conversations reflective of real feeling and passions, of real not imagined hurt and pain. The pain of depression is eloquently exposed, the flesh teased back, the nerves exposed. Such love and such wonderful memories are shared with the reader, this author has guts. I admire her words, her ability to succinctly express the gamut of feelings we all feel, we all hide, we sometimes share. And the telling feels so personal, a conversation just between you and me; you touch my heart and my soul and my own buried grief. I send you hugs.
Everyone should read this book.