Title: A Boy of Good Breeding
Author: Miriam Toews
Copyright: Miriam Toews (apologies, unsure of the year)
Blurb: Life in Winnipeg hasn’t worked out so well for Knute and her daughter…Knute finds herself mixed up in Hosea’s attempts to achieve his dream of meeting the Prime Minister – even though that means keeping the town’s population at an even 1500. It’s not an easy task…
Plot: Well, the blurb just about covers it, it’s a quirky tale of small town life with all its glorious triviality and complication.
Characters: Miriam finds a tone that suits the small town characters, she draws them sympathetically and joyfully, each with their quirks and flaws but mainly good at heart.
She defies rules we writers are given about setting out conversations in a new line etc, and ignores numerous grammar rules that usually drive me to distraction, however it all added to the quirkiness and humour of the book.
If it hasn’t been made into a film yet, I’m sure it will be. Innocent and joyous!
Conclusion: This was one of those books I’d probably not pick up in a bookstore, although I may give it a second glance as the cover gives social proofing by stating “A novel by the Governor General’s Award-winning author of A Complicated Kindness”
Now I admit I haven’t read that either, but somehow I am so shallow as to be swayed by this reassurance. That wasn’t the reason I picked it up, it was the only book written in English on the shelf at the hotel I was staying at when I finished my last read.
Do I regret the decision to invest some serious beach time in such a book, hell no. It’s brilliant. I will be so bold as to say it’s one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. I must just give you one direct quote as I think it’s the best paragraph, and it made me smile at her skill and my good fortune at finding this little treasure.
“…Hosea peered around the countryside. Dirt everywhere and grey snow, dog sh*t, ugly cows, puffs of steam coming out of their snouts and their rear ends, the smell of wet hay, and the sky that brilliant blue of toilet bowl cleanser. Hosea heard a screen, a voice. “Hosea, stop, stop!” Mrs Cherniski the cafe owner was running down her long driveway wearing what looked like Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball shoes and waving a rake around her head. “Get him, Hosea, get that motherf*cking dog away from my Pat, Goldman it if he…that’s it, he’s mounting her, Hosea, get him, get him…”
Recommended: I will certainly be picking up her other work now, thanks Miriam, VERY HIGH UP, almost top of my current list of book recommendations.
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