callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Sister

I’ve certainly been getting around lately. In the past week I’ve courted danger in Venice and Berlin, fought the cold war in Switzerland, settled for a while in Missouri. Now I’m back from taking a road trip from Canada to California with The Flying Troutmans, courtesy of Miriam Toews.

Twenty eight-year-old Hattie has an older sister, Min. For as long as Hattie can remember, Min has had psychotic spells where she seems not to want to live, putting the burden on her family of keeping her alive. Hattie escapes to Paris but a desperate phone call from her niece Thebes calls her back to Manitoba. Logan and Thebes are in the same position as the girls in Jacqueline Wilson’s The Illustrated Mum. They love their mother but fear for her all the time. Not surprisingly, both children act a little strangely.

Min goes into hospital and Hattie takes off with the children to find their father. The long journey is something of a nightmare, relieved by the wonderful character of the girl Thebes. She reminded me a lot of Rose in Hilary McKay’s Casson family books and from me that’s a big recommendation. It’s all desperately sad but also very funny. The end of the book doesn’t provide any easy solution, just another way of coping. I can see why this copy has #1 Bestseller written all over it.
Tags: hilary mckay, miriam toews

  • Nerdy?

    I got this link from Girlsown. My score was 15 which means I am not a nerd. What it really means is, "You know very little about science or…

  • SAS Rogue Heroes, Ben McIntyre

    Spying is a dirty game, yet I’m fascinated by spy stories, whether fictional or the factual ones by Ben MacIntyre, all of which I’ve enjoyed. I…

  • TV Watch: this year’s Chelsea Flower Show

    Interesting to have the show in September instead of May because rather than massed ranks of foxgloves (which I love), we get to see late-flowering…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.