Meet the Troutmans. Hattie's boyfriend has just dumped her, her sister Min's back in the psych ward, and Min's kids, Logan and Thebes, are not talking and talking way too much, respectively.
Responding to a distress call from Thebes, Hattie returns from Paris to take care of her niece and nephew, only to realize that the responsibility is far greater than she'd expected. Basketball-mad Logan is infatuated with New York Times Magazine interviewer Deborah Solomon, while purple-haired Thebes's hip-hop vernacular grates on everybody's nerves. She decides to take the kids in the family van (think Little Miss Sunshine) to go find their father, last heard to be running an idiosyncratic art galley in South Dakota.
What ensues is a remarkable journey that takes them across the United States, where amidst the diverse personal chaos, they discover one another to be both far crazier and far more normal than any of them thought.
Not since Stephen Leacock have our neighbors to the north given us a writer as witty and wise as Miriam Toews . . . She is out to entertain with words, and the tale of the flying Troutmans is her best entertainment yet.
Los Angeles Times
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Counterpoint; Reprint edition (September 15, 2009)