A wonderfully warm, witty and wise novel of small-town dreams and eccentric families from the award-winning author of A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba. She now lives in Winnipeg with her family.
In the tradition of Lake Wobegon, Toews (A Complicated Kindness) gives us Algren, Manitoba, a town noteworthy because, with 1,500 colorful residents (give or take), it ranks as Canada's smallest town. For the town's painfully shy mayor, Hosea Funk, Algren's small population spurs both pride and constant anxiety. He tallies births, deaths and all other arrivals and departures to make sure the population hews to the magic number 1,500-less than that, and the town diminishes to a mere village, but more than that and Algren might outgrow its title. Funk's obsession isn't motivated just by bragging rights, but also by a family secret: on her deathbed, Funk's mother told him that the prime minister of Canada is his long-lost father, and that same prime minister has pledged to visit the smallest Canadian town. When single mother Knute McCloud and her kinetic young daughter return to Algren and Funk's own long-distance romance threatens to catch up with him, Funk's compulsive people-counting tests his already awkward human relationships. First published in Canada in 1998, this is a sweet, funny novel full of memorable, picaresque characters and unexpected drama. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"A Boy of Good Breeding caught me at the throat, made me laugh and weep with sad-sweet joy ... [The characters ] get under your skin, and finally, it seems, into your very blood, where they quicken the heart ...Tonic for the spirit: a charming, deeply moving, unerringly human story, perfectly shaped and beautifully told." The Globe and Mail Reading [Toews ] is like climbing into a fizzy bath of lunatic humour ...Buried in the mysteries of parenthood, love and death are at least a couple of home truths. Toronto Star