A Boy of Good Breeding

Miriam Toews, Author . Counterpoint $14 (237p) ISBN 978-1-58243-340-0

In the tradition of Lake Wobegon, Toews (A Complicated Kindness ) gives us Algren, Manitoba, a town noteworthy because, with 1,500 colorful residents (give or take), it ranks as Canada's smallest town. For the town's painfully shy mayor, Hosea Funk, Algren's small population spurs both pride and constant anxiety. He tallies births, deaths and all other arrivals and departures to make sure the population hews to the magic number 1,500—less than that, and the town diminishes to a mere village, but more than that and Algren might outgrow its title. Funk's obsession isn't motivated just by bragging rights, but also by a family secret: on her deathbed, Funk's mother told him that the prime minister of Canada is his long-lost father, and that same prime minister has pledged to visit the smallest Canadian town. When single mother Knute McCloud and her kinetic young daughter return to Algren and Funk's own long-distance romance threatens to catch up with him, Funk's compulsive people-counting tests his already awkward human relationships. First published in Canada in 1998, this is a sweet, funny novel full of memorable, picaresque characters and unexpected drama. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/24/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 268 pages - 978-0-7737-5969-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-86492-464-3
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-0-307-37560-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-1022-2
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-571-26852-8
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