Our second reader selected the novel A Complicated Kindness (2004) by celebrated Canadian author Miriam Toews. We spoke about teenage reading, the author’s deft treatment of emotional trauma, and the profound empathy found in reading the right book at the right time. Our reader (a very talented writer) also emphasized the importance of reading in her own creative process. This conversation took place on a set of church steps on a busy Toronto street. Please consider the spontaneous guest speaker and assorted urban jungle sounds an added auditory bonus.
Who should read this book?
“I would recommend it to any teenager struggling to come to terms with their identity. I think it should be required reading for every teenager in Canada. It’s a book about loss, about sisters, and motherhood. If you have a tenuous or strange relationship with your mother, or with your sibling, or with your father for that matter […] I think this would be an important book to read.”