Yoli is conflicted. Her sister Elf has battled depression for her whole adult life, and is in a psychiatric ward under permanent observation after attempting suicide – again. She has always looked up to her as her talented and beautiful older sister. She loves her with a fierce passion and wants to believe in the possibility of a future together, one in which Elf gets better. But it’s looking unlikely and Yoli has to decide if the person you love is tired of living, is it kinder just to let them go?
What the press said:
“Sadness might be the central theme of the novel, but it isn’t the dominant tone. From its arresting opening sentence to its heart-catching last line, it is jaunty, matter-of-fact and full of zest and verve … as in her other novels, Toews writes in a cool, deceptively simple voice that moves seamlessly between the memory of past joy and the sometimes surprising banality of present pain. This often edges towards poetry … The novel she has written – so exquisitely that you’ll want to savour every word – reads as if it has been wrenched from her heart.”(Christina Patterson Sunday Times)
“Toews’ remarkable novel … ironic for a book with self-annihilation as its subject, bursts with ramshackle, precious life. Full of eccentricities and casual, apposite quoting of literature, its tragicomedy and humaneness recall the best of John Irving.” (Catherine Taylor Sunday Telegraph)
“To write powerful fiction out of personal events of such magnitude is hard, surely almost unbearably so, but the result is a novel that reaches beyond the limits of itself.” (Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times)
“The mixture of grief, numbness, and a sensation of being removed from one’s life and observing from above, are starkly captured … Toews captures perfectly the conflicting feelings when a loved one wants to die: sorrow, confusion, guilt, frustration and even anger. Yet, unbelievably, this book is full of humour … This is a powerful and enthralling book. Toews has previously been long-listed for the Orange (now Baileys) Prize. I hope to see this on prize lists in the near future.” (Leyla Sanai Independent)
“a masterly book of such precise dignity. It is, also against all the odds, at times a desperately humorous novel.” (Daily Mail)
“excellent book tells a difficult story with dazzling lightness of touch … Very smart, very funny, and completely heartbreaking.” (Metro)