Here is the second story by Miriam Toews! I just love her stories and will be reading quite a few more of them in the future.
In a small, reclusive Mennonite community in the shadow of the Sierra Madre mountains, Irma Voth, eighteen and longing for more than the stifling life offered by her family, falls in love with a Mexican boy, Jorge. She decides to marry him secretly.
Cast out of the house and shunned by her father, they struggle to survive in a Mexico where young men are never far from the seduction and corruption of the drug lords. Irma’s world narrows further when, despite their love for each other, her new husband decides to desert her without reason or a trace of where he is going.
Then Irma’s world is turned upside down 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, domineering father is determined to keep her from it at all costs.
The confrontation between sets Irma on a path towards something that feels like freedom as she and her young sister Aggie flee to the city. Aggie is wise beyond her years and they seem to be surviving well. They finally understand the tragedy that has their family in its grip.
The story takes us into a world of longing and dark secrets where humour and love are the only saving graces. Irma Both delves into the complicated factors that set us on the road to self-discovery and shows us how we can sometimes find the strength to endure the really hard things that happen to us. She also asks the ultimate question that is hard for all of us: How can we forgive? And even more importantly, how do we forgive ourselves?
I loved this story from beginning to end. I love stories that revolve around Mennonite communities. There is so much grief in such communities and yet so much belonging and love as well as so much tragedy and passion.