All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews


It's been few weeks since I actually read All My Puny Sorrows, but it's one of those books that stick with you. I wasn't overly sure I'd get into it but after starting it on a long train journey, I couldn't put it down.

AMPS follows the story of two sisters - Yoli who is divorced with no money, 2 children and sleeping with the wrong men, and Elf, world famous and happily married. Two sisters who's lives couldn't be any more polar opposites. And yet it is Yoli who is trying to save her sister from ending her own life. Because life is worth living when you appear to have everything - or so you might think.

If I am being entirely honest, then I didn't expect to love this book. But then the saying of never judge a book by it's cover wouldn't have any substance if it didn't contain truth. And like I said, from the first page I was hooked. You immediately fall in love with the characters and Toews has a true talent for making you feel like you've known these characters for years. I've not read a book in which I cared for the characters so quickly in a long while so this alone was a breath of fresh air.

I adore any novel that aims to abolish stigmatism towards mental health. And this book really achieves that. Something I often hear people saying regarding suicide are lines such as "but they had so many people who loved them" or "their life was great, what would possess them to do such a thing?" and it irritates me more than anything. You don't know what a person is feeling and i feel like this book really tackles this issue. Just because Elf wants to take her own life, doesn't mean she appreciates the fact she is a world-reowned pianist with a loving husband and family any less. She knows what she has and is thankful for it all, but that urge is still there regardless.

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. It elicits every possible emotion within its pages all while conveying a story and characters that are truly believable. I can't wait to read more of Toews books now.

Have you read AMPS? What were your thoughts?
Will you be picking up a copy if you haven't yet read it?

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  1. I'm so glad you liked this, I loved this book so much and for all the exact same reasons! xx