Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's life is enviable (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married,) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close - raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her life. After Elf's latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.
©2014 Miriam Toews (P)2014 Recorded Books
A story you'll need to take a breather from every once and awhile as it confronts death and loss head on, but the writing voice will bring you back.
Miriam Toews is funny and honest about what it's like to be a woman, and she brings a sense of dry whimsy to her memories of her oppressive Mennonite upbringing.
I love how Audible tries to use readers from the same area the writer is from. Erin Moon's voice acting was great. I would listen to another book featuring her as the reader.
The writing was intermittently compelling, but as a whole I found the narratives and narration flat.
But I really liked it. I think the performance didn't quite hit the level of sarcasm present in the narrator's hyperbole, but that's maybe a subjective nitpick. The ending felt drawn out and it was a chore to finish. Totally worth it though. I'm a male with no siblings and this story punched me in the heart. The narration was incredibly sincere. Pretty great through and through.
Is one characteristic to describe a good wine. Like such, AMPS was layered in complexity of story lines, characters, present day, history, dreams and fantasies. All tied together to make you not want to stop. So concerned that I may have missed something, I found myself repeating chapters before moving on. Sad and joyful and inspiring at in one story.
Typically I prefer the one I engage with first. It's sometimes shocking to hear how a narrator handles a book I've read. I hadn't imagined it his or her way. In this case, the narrator enhanced what was already a great book.
My favorite character was the mother but her sister and both of her daughters were also beautifully drawn.
Everything. Even the hospital staff was well and sometimes sympathetically voiced.
I can't think of anyone who isn't memorable.
Unless solicited for advice, I usually don't recommend books. But I sent a few emails after finishing this one.
The book raised some thought provoking questions about death, suicide, and depression. However, overall, I felt it dragged, and I can't say that I I enjoyed the book. I didn't love the performance by the narrator - perhaps this was the intention of the author for her to speak slowly but it felt overdone to me. Too slow, too many pauses, too perfect articulation.
A poignant, yet often witty story, with fine attention to detail. A gentle and absorbing listen.
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