Irma Voth

“Irma Voth” by Miriam Toews (Canada)


This book was one of the four selected titles for our Summer Reading Group 2012

Nicola chose the novel “Irma Voth” by Miriam Toews (Canada) as her Coup de Cœur Summer 2012. Set in Mexico in a Mennonite community, the story is narrated by 19-year-old Irma who not only gets married, but also takes a job with a film crew, against her father’s wishes. Readers liked the book a lot and found it the easiest of the four to read. Told in an unusual and simplistic style, they found the descriptions clear and they warmed quickly to the characters. Nicola feels this line from the book sums up its theme: ‘to truly know happiness is to know the fleeting nature of everything, joy, pain, safety and happiness itself.’


The stifling, reclusive life of nineteen-year-old Irma Voth, recently married, and more recently deserted is turned on its head when a film crew moves in to make a movie about the strict religious community, in which she lives. When she clashes with her domineering father over her work as a translator for the crew, Irma is set on a path towards something that feels like freedom… Read more


Nicola’s Summer Reading list 2012

“Open City” by Teju Cole (Nigeria) * – DRAW!
“Please Look After Mother” by Kyung-Sook Shin (South Korea) *
“Day of the Oprichnik” by Vladimir Sorokin (Russia)
“Irma Voth” by Miriam Toews (Canada)

* Best Summer Reads
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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