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The Flying Troutmans

The Flying Troutmans

Hardback

By (author) Miriam Toews

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  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 28mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 5 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571224016
  • ISBN 13: 9780571224012
  • Illustrations note: ill
  • Sales rank: 412,276

Product description

Meet the Troutmans. Hattie is living in Paris, city of romance, but has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Min, her sister back in Canada, is going through a particularly dark period. And Min's two kids, Logan and Thebes, are not talking and talking way too much, respectively. So when Hattie receives a phone call in the middle of the night from eleven-year-old Thebes, begging her to return to Canada and help sort out their family, she knows she has to go. When she arrives home, Min is on her way to a psychiatric ward, and Hattie becomes responsible for her niece and nephew. She quickly realizes that she is way out of her league, and hatches a plan to find the kids' long-lost father. With only the most tenuous lead to go on, she piles Logan and Thebes into the family van, and they head south.

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Author information

Miriam Toews grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba. She now lives in Winnipeg with her family. Her previous novels include A Boy of Good Breeding and A Complicated Kindness.

Editorial reviews

Emulating the comedic stylings of indie hits like Little Miss Sunshine provides a wealth of material and a breath of fresh air for Canadian novelist Toews (A Boy of Good Breeding, 2006, etc)."Yeah, so things have fallen apart," declares reluctant narrator Hattie Troutman, summarizing her situation with a postmodern echo of Yeats' famous lament. Yanked from her Parisian fantasy life as an expatriate living with her leech of a boyfriend, prodigal sibling Hattie rushes home to Manitoba when her sister Min is hospitalized with another catatonic bout, symptomatic of a lifelong mental illness. Hattie is marooned with Min's 11-year-old daughter Thebes, a goofy smart aleck with a predilection for busting into gangsta rap, and 15-year-old son Logan, a moody renegade who channels his aggression into basketball. Absent of maternal instincts, Hattie decides the best course of action is a road trip to find the kids' long-absent father, Doug Cherkis. Commandeering a beat-up van, the trio travels through the alien landscapes of Cheyenne, Moab and Twentynine Palms in search of the anarchic artist who reportedly spawned the lesser Troutmans. Life on the road doesn't increase Hattie's affection toward her charges. "I thought: Strangle the children, dump their bodies in the ditch," she notes early in her voyage. With barbed wit, Toews plunders some of the emotional themes from her earlier work, among them absent fathers, the trials of adolescence and the tribulations of single motherhood. The story feels suspiciously directionless much of the time. Fortunately, the snappy personalities of Hattie's charges and the odd collection of ramblers, Jesus freaks and vagabonds they encounter make for entertaining interludes between the deliciously uncomfortable silences of the book's primary characters.Smarter and more thoughtful than its cinematic inspirations. (Kirkus Reviews)