Alternating between a woman’s childhood in a small town and as an adult in the city, this novel traces a Jehovah Witness family’s splintering belief system, their isolation, and the erosion of their relationships. As Emily becomes closer to her closeted Uncle Tyler, she begins to challenge her upbringing. Her questions about the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ insular lifestyle, rigid codes of conduct, and tenets of their faith haunt her older sister Lenora too. When Lenora disappears, everything changes and Emily becomes obsessed with taking on her sister’s identity, believing that Lenora is controlling her actions. Ultimately, Emily finds release through self-mutilation.
The narrative offers a haunting, cutting exploration of the Jehovah’s Witness practice and practical impact of “disfellowshipping,” proselytization, and cultural abstinence, as well as their attitude toward the “worldlings” outside of their faith. Sparse, vivid, menacingly suspenseful, and darkly humorous, Watch How We Walk simultaneously engages on emotional, visceral, and intellectual levels.
Jennifer Lovegrove is the author of The Dagger Between Her Teeth, a collection of poems that features female pirates. Her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have been published in NOW Magazine, Queen Street Quarterly, and Taddle Creek, and have been aired on CBC Radio 1. In the mid-1990s, she founded wayward armadillo press, which publishes dig and various literary ephemera. She lives and works in Toronto.
"ThereÓ³ blisteringly gorgeous prose in the novel, and the first-person chapters are riveting." ×¦amp;lt;I>Publishers Weekly
"Jennifer LoveGrove evokes the gossamer thin line we must all walk to form identity inside family, faith, and devastation. She achieves this with compassion, wit, and charm. Watch How We Walk is an elegant, heartbreaking tightrope of a debut novel." - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of Perfecting and The Nettle Spinner
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