Monday, August 29, 2016

ONCE, IN A TOWN CALLED MOTH BY TRILBY KENT - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review today, this time it is Once, In a Town Called Moth by Trilby Kent. Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book for participating in a book club discussion. A review was not requested, however I am providing one as a complimentary copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.


This was such a strange, wonderful little book.

It follows Anneli, or Ana now, and her father after they abruptly move to Canada from their small Mennonite community in Bolivia. I don't have much experience with stories on religious sects, but I did enjoy this one. There was a great mix of their 'new' life in Toronto as well as the 'flashbacks' to their lives in Bolivia.

Some perspectives are written in third person, and others are in Ana's perspective, so things jumped around a bit. The Toronto chapter's were third person and the flashbacks to Bolivia were in Ana's perspective, as her own little memories.

I found myself fascinated with the flashbacks, learning of a culture so different from my own. I know a little bit about Mennonites, living in Alberta there are some Hutterite colonies nearby, but I don't know much. There was, of course, the mystery of why they came to Canada, especially so quickly, and where Ana's mother was. She had left the colony ten years before, but no one knew why or where she went, other than probably somewhere in Canada.

I will say that, at first, I wasn't sure I would like this book. The only other book I had read that was similar was The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude and that book was about a cult, so it wasn't quite the same as the religious sect that Ana and her family lived in. But anyways, I was expecting something similar, and I wasn't sure how much of the book would focus on the religion aspects. I was pleasantly surprised that there were only smaller snippets of her old live on the colony.

Even though this book deals with something that not many people experience, leaving a religious group and travelling to a different country, the messages of starting over, and finding your way are ones in which everyone can use. No matter who you are, where you live, what you do, your life will have change, like it or not. Like Ana, you will have to start over in uncharted territory and learn to adapt.

I enjoyed Ana's voice and the writing style portrayed. The story was enchanting in a way that kept me reading. From what I know of Mennonite colonies and more structured religions, I think the interactions between Ana and her father were well done, especially towards the end when she finds herself and stands up to him. He is loving, but not overly-affectionate, very much portraying standard male/female roles, especially without Ana's mother around. She is responsible for cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. while he goes out and works. I didn't love Ana's father, but he did the best he could, and always thought of her first.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and think it is a really great read if you are looking for a coming of age story that is a little bit different.