Author: Miriam Toews
Genre: General Fiction
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
Book Description: “You’re a small thing,” Grandma writes, “and you must learn to fight.” Swiv’s Grandma, Elvira, has been fighting all her life. From her upbringing in a strict religious community, she has fought those who wanted to take away her joy, her independence, and her spirit. She has fought to make peace with her loved ones when they have chosen to leave her. And now, even as her health fails, Grandma is fighting for her family: for her daughter, partnerless and in the third term of a pregnancy; and for her granddaughter Swiv, a spirited nine-year-old who has been suspended from school. Cramped together in their Toronto home, on the precipice of extraordinary change, Grandma and Swiv undertake a vital new project, setting out to explain their lives in letters they will never send.
Alternating between the exuberant, precocious voice of young Swiv and her irrepressible, tenacious Grandma, Fight Night is a love letter to mothers and grandmothers, and to all the women who are still fighting—painfully, ferociously— for a way to live on their own terms.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Swiv is our young protagonist and narrator is this quirky story of three generations of women. When the story opens, Swiv is writing her father a letter. We have no idea where he is, but this is Swiv’s version of a journaling. She lives with her somewhat flakey mother who is pregnant and trying to be a working actress, but of course finds it difficult while she is with child. Also living with them is her grandmother, who can’t hear, and is about to die any second according to Swiv, but you can find her trekking out in a blizzard to go to a book club meeting.
Swiv rules the roost, always taking care of her family. During the time period of this story, she has been suspended from school, so she makes herself even more present in her family’s lives. There is not a ton of plot to this story, but just understanding Swiv is enough for me. She is witty and so smart, she is delight, that I could have read so much more.
I did start reading the physical book, and it started a little slow, but switched to the audio version and I am so glad I did. The narrator really captured the humor that Toews was trying to convey throughout. It ultimately made the all the difference.
This was a delightful read that I thoroughly enjoyed. My only wish is that we could so many books with Swiv at the helm. She just might teach you how to fight.
Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.