Irma is a young Mennonite woman whose family has moved from Canada to Mexico to live in a repressive community. Her authoritarian father no longer interacts with her since she married a Mexican without his permission, but she still lives on her father’s land and works for him. This book is about what happens to Irma when her husband disappears and she starts spending time with some filmmakers who set up nearby.
Toews has a wonderfully understated writing style. This book flows along calmly, despite the big events and strong emotions it contains. Toews seems to care very much about all of her characters, and is generous even to the “bad” people.
I don’t want to spoil the plot for you by mentioning anything else, because this is definitely worth reading. The characters have a wonderful internal consistency even when the most unexpected things happen to them.
Irma Voth by Miriam Toews. 2011. ISBN 9780307400697.