Mad Hope

Mad Hope


Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:

In the stories of Mad Hope , Journey Prize winner Heather Birrell finds the heart of her characters and lets them lead us into worlds both recognizable and alarming. A science teacher and former doctor is forced to re-examine the role he played in CeauÅYescu's Romania after a student makes a shocking request; a tragic plane crash becomes the basis for a meditation on motherhood and its discontents; women in an online chat group share (and overshare) their anxieties and personal histories; and a chance encounter in a waiting room tests the ties that bind us. Using precise, inventive language, Birrell creates astute and empathetic portraits of people we thought we knew - and deftly captures the lovely, maddening mess of being human.

Publisher: Toronto : Coach House Books, c2012.
ISBN: 9781552452585
Branch Call Number: BIRRE
Characteristics: 223 p.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 26, 2014

Domestic, suburban, dull and boring.

ksoles May 28, 2012

Heather Birrell has mastered the art of writing about the universal themes of marriage, family, motherhood, death and sex in a both familiar and unsettling manner. Her prose is at once fluid and dense with detail, carrying the reader deep into the minds of her carefully constructed characters. Thus, a voyeuristic quality exists in "Mad Hope"; these figures come off as so wonderfully human that to bear witness to their hurts, despairs, ecstasies and triumphs elicits a discomfort akin to invading another's privacy. Birrell exposes the darkness hidden in all of us but does so in such a way that simultaneously captivates and repulses the reader. Ultimately, she allows us to see the ugly side of life without being overwhelmed by its darkness.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at JMS

To Top