Life journey and travels of a dysfunctional family

2010-03-03 00:00

IF quirky does it for you, then you will love this wonderful book.

The Flying Troutmans is the bizarre­ story of Hattie, a young woman­ who is summoned urgently from Paris to look after her sister Min’s children after Min’s mental state deteriorates and she can no longer cope with them.

The first line pretty much sums up the mood of the book. “Yeah, so things have fallen apart.”  Indeed, the centre could not hold, for the centre of this family is the unbalanced Min, whose depression is the constant cause of concern for her family and children.

So, enter Hattie the Brave, who, though ill-prepared, steps in to look after her wild nephew Logan and off-beat niece Thebes as Min succumbs to a mental breakdown and is hospitalised­.

Soon Hattie fears that she cannot cope with the responsibilities associated with looking after two children who have been scarred by the experience of having a mentally fragile mother. When Logan is expelled from school, she decides to set out from Canada in the family car to travel through the United States to find the children’s hippy father, Cherkis.

And so begins an adventurous odyssey­ which will leave you smiling at times, reflecting on how crazy life can be. Tender moments come thick and fast as they travel together, and begin to bond. Hattie, who bumbles from one crisis to another along the journey, realises that she needs these children just as much as they need her, and learns how best to deal with them.

The portrayal of the adorable, though unwashed, little Thebes I found perspicacious and believable. Toews “gets” children and writes their characters skilfully.

I really loved this tender book which successfully and entertainingly portrays the relationships between members of this dysfunctional, but very loving family.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.