Irma Voth

Irma Voth
Miriam Toews
Reviewed by Carol Treasure
Faber
Thu, 02/06/2011
9780571273546
£12.99

Nineteen-year-old Irma leads a lonely, constricted life, ostracised by her Mennonite father and their community following her marriage to Jorge, an outsider. Irma's younger sister Aggie visits her unbeknownst to her father, providing a link with the outside world. Then a film crew arrives, hires Irma as translator and everything changes, as she begins more forcefully to question her relationships, her life and past events.

A major event sets the sisters on a quest to escape the strictures imposed on them and to come to terms with their past. Whilst being an engagingly lively story, the narrative strives for a complexity that is only gradually revealed. However, this doesn't detract too much from what is an interesting and ultimately uplifting read.

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