Irma Voth is a strong character but I felt sorry for her throughout the entire book. Not only does her crappy husband leave her on their farm in Mexico to pursue drug-trafficking, her domineering father, head of their Mennonite family makes sure she feels like crap most of the time. Irma’s strength should do more than just help her withstand the hard times that come her way. Her father by the way, is a coward. He and the rest of the family hide behind a wall of secrecy that is responsible for tearing the family apart. Despite the fundamentalist oppression that Irma is pushing against there is a some hope for Irma, even if it is not easy to believe.
Miriam Toews the author of Irma Voth, has written a few titles where the main characters hail from Mennonite communities. This book was stemmed from her experience as an actress in a film called Silent Night, about a group of Mennonites in a community in Mexico. Apparently she only agreed to do the movie because it would give her something interesting to write about. Good decision Miriam.