Summer of My Amazing Luck

Summer of My Amazing Luck By the author of Swing Low Welcome to Have a Life welfare housing project better known as Half a Life The welfare regulations are endless and the ratfink neighbours won t mind their own business but

  • Title: Summer of My Amazing Luck
  • Author: Miriam Toews
  • ISBN: 9780888012050
  • Page: 432
  • Format: Paperback
  • By the author of Swing Low Welcome to Have a Life welfare housing project better known as Half a Life The welfare regulations are endless and the ratfink neighbours won t mind their own business, but when Lish and Lucy head to Colorado to find the fire eater, Lucy discovers this just may be the summer of her amazing luck.

    One thought on “Summer of My Amazing Luck”

    1. I loved this book. This may be my favourite Toews novel so far. Toews has a wonderful and humorous way of illustrating her characters' resilience in the face of hardship and tragedy. Also, the details she uses create such verisimilitude, I almost believe that Half a Life is an actual place, and the characters in it are living, breathing human beings. For instance, the Sikh caretaker, Singh Dillon, is called "Sing Dylan" by the residents of Half a Life, and this quirky little detail seems so odd [...]

    2. I hope the movie rights to this novel have been snapped up by a producer with an appreciation for strong female characters. This book has plenty. A great read -- and the author gets bonus marks for winding in cultural references to Casey, Finnegan, and Mr. Dressup.

    3. There's nothing amazing or lucky in this book. Perhaps a better title would have been, "My Down-And-Out Tale." Perhaps the title is trying to be ironic. It's a story about a single mother who's on welfare. Her situation is miserable. But her story is told with an air of humor and indifference to her environment. There aren't very many novels written about the welfare class. And there are even fewer novels written about women on welfare free of moralizing. This book simply tells the story, and it [...]

    4. 'Summer of My Amazing Luck' was Miriam Toews first novel and although it lacks the polished writing more evident in the latter 'A Complicated Kindness', itself the 2004 winner of the Governor General's award, it still makes for an interesting read. Through the eyes of Lucy Van Alstyne we are given a brief glimpse into the lives of a community of single mothers on welfare. Lucy is a naive, not stupid, 18 year old girl struggling to come to terms with her life; a baby with an unknown father, an em [...]

    5. I just couldn't get into this book. I returned it to the library without even finishing it. The story was character driven and though they are quirky, I didn't care about them and there wasn't enough plot to keep me engaged.

    6. I have to admit that I love Miriam Toews. Right out of the park. There. I've said it. I'll read anything she writes and most likely will enjoy. A lot. The only reason I rated her 'memoir' Swing Low, at only 4 stars, is because of the subject matter and how difficult it is to tackle a parent's inevitable decline into old age and dementia and do it superbly well. But I digress. The Summer of My Amazing Luck is a window into the life of a teenage single mom living in the 'centre of the universe': W [...]

    7. Oh Miriam Toews, you write great books. I want to buy them all. This one is especially enjoyable, with deeply flawed characters and tons of humor. It is basically like the movie Little Miss Sunshine if the main characters were single moms on welfare. These two, Lish and Lucy, are very quirky and likable, don't always show good judgment, and maintain a remarkably optimistic outlook for most of the book. They are barely holding things together, but still trying to take care of their kids and live [...]

    8. This barely kept my interest. It's about Canadian Welfare Moms (They call welfare "the Dole," like in England); kind of depressing but not as bleak as A Complicated Kindness by same author, which I didn't even finish reading. The protagonist in this book is stupid, which bored me. She's purposely written as not intelligent, as are most of the other welfare moms in the book. Don't get me wrong—I love stereotypes, but I would've preferred a protagonist who was savvy and intelligent and rose abov [...]

    9. This is my third Toews book, and it is probably good I waited. I found it interesting to read this less tightly written story after reading her two best novels. It's like looking at film of a minor hockey player after he has made the NHL. You see the potential as it relates to the now seasoned pro. One thing stood out for me in this story -- Ms. Toews ability to end scenes and paragraphs. I bet a crafty professor could build a creative writing course in how to end things based solely on this boo [...]

    10. I enjoyed this book, although there were times - especially close to the start of it all - that I didn't think that I would. Miriam Toews does write a good book thankfully and one usually cares enough about her characters that you do want to know how it all pans out for them. I do think she's a little too fond of road trips though. They seem to feature prominently in a few of her stories! Then again, there's something cathartic about hitting the roadOf course when you start this story, you reall [...]

    11. Rarely do I give two craps about the title of a book, but I just have so little to complain about here that I'm driven to it. This book is written in that calm, literary, (dare I say it) Canadian style that is short-story-precise and not manically plot-driven but it's not very specifically a summer tale, it doesn't have anything to do with luck, nothing about it is amazing (which is part of the strength both of the story and of the narrator's flat, sweet POV), and it's definitely not throw-your- [...]

    12. I liked this quirky funny-but-sad-but-funny story of a baffled 18-yr-old mother on welfare. Lucy has had all the wind knocked out of her by her mother's tragic death, her father's withdrawl, and her own inability to deal with her grief. This is evidenced by her Finnegan-like silence and her empty apartment, made even more stark by the comparaisons to Lish's over-the-top warmth and flamboyance. And yet, she perseveres. The Epic Story of her travails in trying to get to the Welfare Office with her [...]

    13. Miriam Toews is incredible. This is the third book of hers I have read (A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutman's being the other two) and they are all fantastic, fun, intelligent, absorbing, and addictive-to-the-point-of-missing-your-bus stories. With an odd but real cast of characters and an honest genius for turning the mundane and ordinary into something beautiful and compelling, Miriam Toews is fast becoming my favourite author.

    14. I did not love Summer of My Amazing Luck the way I did A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans--two novels that Toews wrote after this one. The writing is in the same sort of fast-paced, conversational style, but somehow everyone in the book felt more real to me than the first person narrator.

    15. I loved it, as I love all of Toews writing. I can see she has developed as a writer since this book. Although I enjoyed this book the stream of consciousness marathon became tiresome in points. Still she details the 1990s in Winnipeg with deft and humour. Highly recommend

    16. This is one of my favourite books. Though it is not as subtle and mature and Toews' newer writing, it is a beautiful depiction of why I turn to Towes time and time again: the wondrous portrayal of people stumbling forward in the adventure that is their lives with good hearts and vague ideas.

    17. Who knew one could live life on the dole and still have a sense of humour and a philisophical take on life. Brilliant premise, charmingly executed, and too short.

    18. Ultimately, this is a wittily written novel about closure and how desperately we need it, even though we may be reluctant to pursue it.

    19. I've read two or three of Miriam Toews' books and they're fabulous so when I was looking around for a book to read for the Cross Canada reading challenge for the province of Manitoba, someone reminded me that Ms. Toews is from there and many of her books are situated in that province. Oh, yes! I had forgotten that. I looked at the descriptions for the ones I hadn't read and decided on Summer of My Amazing Luck, which is her first novel, and borrowed it from the library's digital site.Lucy is an [...]

    20. This wasn't my favourite book by Toews, an author whom I admire for her abilities to create quirky, real characters and to capture the odd balance life seems to strike between humour and tragedy. Unfortunately, this one weighed a bit heavily on the tragedy side, though I was happy to find that the protagonist, Lucy, did have a bit of resolution in the end. In summary, this was an okay book, but certainly not a great choice for someone looking for an introduction to Toews's writing -- for that, y [...]

    21. Quirky story with quirky but appealing characters. Centered in Winnipeg, Manitoba during the summer (1980's?) of a terrible flood, the characters reside in low-cost housing and are all young single mothers on "the dole". Eighteen year old Lucy with her 9 month old son arrive and she is trying to find her way as a new Mom and fit in. Flamboyant and theatrical, Lish takes Lucy under her arm and the story unfolds as they build a friendship. What starts out as a good intentioned act (Lucy sending po [...]

    22. 4.80 - there is something almost under-the-table genius in Toews' writing. Maybe it's because it's so subtle, so subtle I can't even put my finger on what that 'it' is. I've laughed out loud, LOUDLY, at certain parts of this narrative. And it's been awhile since I've really done that. Not that it's a hilarious, outright funny read either, but because it's so infused with so much of what is not funny, and yet the protagonist simply finds so much to find happiness in. A merry heart doeth etc. etc. [...]

    23. I have such mixed feelings. On the one hand I did enjoy this writing. It was very engrossing and made the not so interesting moments very readable. And there were quite a few of those. There wasn't a whole lot of plot in this book. I liked Lucy and Lish although I didn't always agree with everything they did. I really didn't like that Lucy lied to Lish and I think Lish should have been angrier about it. But overall I quite enjoyed this.

    24. This is a book about life. About mistakes. About learning from them who you are. About being self aware. Understanding that others affect you and how you affect them. It's honest. It's thoughtful. It's worth the read.

    25. Loved this book!!! Dry, intelligent sense of humor combined with genuine moments that make you stop and think. Great book, I will definitely explore more of her works.

    26. My least favourite of Miriam Toews novels.Found myself wishing it was over and glad it was short.Still love her later stuff though.

    27. The thing is, I wanted this book so goddamn badly. I loved A Complicated Kindness so much and I wanted more by Miriam Toews. I moved to Berlin with only three books, and I don't know when I last bought one: they're a luxury that's off-limits these days. So, given that I don't have a whole lot of reading material available to me here, I was extra excited when Summer Of My Amazing Luck showed up on Bookmooch. The first person wouldn't send to Germany but then someone in Texas listed it and was goo [...]

    28. Whether it be the story line, the descriptive text, or the mix of sadness and comedy, I loved absolutely every part of this book. This was the first book I have read of Miriam Toews and I will definitely continue to read others. Miriam Toews captivated me with her novel and I was unable to put it down. I finished the book extreamly quick and was left wanting more!Miriam Toews is a Steinbach, MB, Canadian author who has written many books such as A Complicated Kindness, A Boy of Good Breeding, an [...]

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