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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    81
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    7
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and beautiful

This is one of the best books I have ever read/listened to. Magnificent writing. Wonderful reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite book

Would you consider the audio edition of All My Puny Sorrows to be better than the print version?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was the mother but her sister and both of her daughters were also beautifully drawn.

What about Erin Moon’s performance did you like?

Everything. Even the hospital staff was well and sometimes sympathetically voiced.

Who was the most memorable character of All My Puny Sorrows and why?

I can't think of anyone who isn't memorable.

Any additional comments?

Unless solicited for advice, I usually don't recommend books. But I sent a few emails after finishing this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Would you assist your siblings suicide?

A sad, serious, humourous family's struggle with life, depression and suicide. thank you 4.5 stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad Story, Unforgettable Writing Voice

If you could sum up All My Puny Sorrows in three words, what would they be?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Really depressing story

Don't listen to this if you are prone to depression. It's super dark.

However, it is masterfully written and very well performed.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful

I loves this novel. Beautiful writing. I will read more by this author. The narrator is wonderful.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A complete downer

This book is so much of a downer! It's hard to remember anything bright or happy! Not the best story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wanted to finish but just could not

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The writing was intermittently compelling, but as a whole I found the narratives and narration flat.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my usual cup of tea.

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • r
  • 03-17-16

wow. hard story to hear but so well done.

glad I finally got around to starting and I didn't know the outcome until the end.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Snorkmaiden
  • 07-01-15

Beautiful writing

A poignant, yet often witty story, with fine attention to detail. A gentle and absorbing listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Brown
  • 03-14-17

Pragmatic insight into mental illness

Love Miriam Toews' writing - honest, amusing, realistic. Despite the subject matter, amusing and uplifting, as well as being desperately sad, poignant and thought-provoking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful