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Ron Charlesinvites immediate comparison with the popular indie movie "Little Miss Sunshine." Like Michael Arndt's film, it's about a collection of oddball family members on a cross-country road trip toward a highly unlikely goal. Deadpan irony and hip cultural references abound. But Toews steps over the camp and sentimentality of "Little Miss Sunshine" and displays a sharper sense of the grinding tragedy of mental illness…Yes, the road trip storyline is a little tread-worn, but Toews has created such an engaging cast for this 2,000-mile trek that you'll never be tempted to ask, "Are we there yet?" Most of the novel's success stems from the fact that Min's two witty children are irresistible characters, alternately vulnerable, affectionate, terrified, brave and annoying…There is no false promise in this story, just an awareness that in this chaotic world the only stability comes from our love for one another, quirks and all. In Toews's hands, that can be funny or heartbreaking, usually at the same time.
—The Washington Post