All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

I probably wouldn't have picked up this book had I known it was about suicide; had that been the case, I would have sorely missed out on a literary treasure. Yolandi and her older sister Elfrieda grew up in a tiny Mennonite town near Winnipeg. Elf goes on to become a world renowned pianist while Yoli writes young adult rodeo books. Elf, as many great artists seem to be, is burdened by extreme depression. With some flashbacks to their childhood, Yoli narrates Elf's most recent suicide attempt and the affects on their family. This book is devastating and stunningly beautiful, and as I finished it last night I felt as though my heart had been gently cut from my chest and pulled into little bite-sized pieces, to be patched up again with masking tape. This is not an easy book to read, not at all, but it's well worth the effort.


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