Wednesday, April 20th - Princess Cinema 7pm
$10 or free with the purchase of any of these titles from Words Worth Books. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to The Record Literacy Fund
Miriam Toews ~ Irma Voth
Irma Voth entangles love, longing, and dark family secrets. The stifling, reclusive Mennonite life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth - newly married and newly deserted - is irrevocably changed when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the community.
She embraces the absurdity, creative passion and warmth of their world but her intractable and domineering father is determined to keep her from it at all costs. The confrontation between them sets her on an irrevocable path towards something that feels like freedom as she and her young sister, Aggie, wise beyond her teenage years, flee to the city, upheld only by their love for each other and their smart wit, even as they begin to understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip.
Irma Voth delves into the complicated factors that set us on the road to self-discovery and how we can sometimes find the strength to endure the really hard things that happen. And as Gustavo, a taxi driver, says, you go on, you live and you laugh and you are compassionate toward others. It also asks that most difficult of questions: How do we forgive? And most importantly, how do we forgive ourselves?
Miriam Toews is the author of four previous novels: Summer of My Amazing Luck; A Boy of Good Breeding, the Governor General Award-winning, Canada Reads-winning, much loved bestselling novel A Complicated Kindness, and most recently The Flying Troutmans, which won the Rogers Writers Trust Award for fiction. The author also penned one work of non-fiction: Swing Low: A Life. She lives in Toronto.
Cynthia Holz ~ Benevolence
Dr. Ben Wasserman is an organ transplant psychiatrist stymied by a man who wishes to donate a kidney to a neighbour for no apparent reason beyond a wish to help. While doggedly searching for an ulterior motive, he secretly hopes the would-be donor is a bona fide altruist. At the same time, Ben's psychologist wife, Renata Moon, is treating a young phobic whose husband died in a train crash. When her client reveals that she is pregnant, Renata's own feelings of disappointment in her childless marriage are triggered anew. It doesn't help that Ben's widowed mother, Molly, wishes out loud that her eldest son had married a nice Jewish girl instead of a "barren shiksa" like Renata. As the strain on Renata and Ben's marriage grows more acute, Molly takes in a boarder, a man from her past with difficult secrets that threaten to complicate the family dynamics even more. There are disapproving questions, surprising connections–and magical, unexpected, life-changing answers–all around.
Cynthia Holz is the author of four previous novels and one collection of short fiction, all of which have been widely acclaimed. She was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Toronto since moving here as a journalist in 1976, an occupation she set aside soon thereafter in favour of writing fiction.
Jamie Zeppa ~ Every Time We Say Goodbye
As eight-year-old Dawn waits for her father early one autumn morning, at the front door of her grandparents' house, Jamie Zeppa immediately draws us into the tangled, tumultuous story of the Turner family of Sault Ste. Marie. Dawn and her younger brother, Jimmy, are the youngest generation of Turners and their unpredictable father, Dean, is finally coming to bring them to live with him in a new house with his new wife. Dawn calls this "Day One" — as in the beginning of her real life — and she is full of optimism. Her grandparents, Frank and Vera, however, are less convinced, since they know very well the ups and downs of their dear, but unreliable, son's behaviour.
Jamie Zeppa is the author of Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan, which won the Banff Mountain Book Festival Award for Adventure Travel Writing. She won the CBC Canadian Literary Award for Memoir and her essays have appeared in AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds, My Wedding Dress: True-life Tales of Lace, Laughter, Tears and Tulle and Between Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood. She has written articles and reviews for Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Literary Review of Canada and Ascent, as well as several UK newspapers. Jamie has a teenage son, and she teaches English at Seneca College in Toronto.