41 pages 1 hour read

Miriam Toews

A Complicated Kindness

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2004

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Chapters 15-20

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 15 Summary

Before Tash left, she was getting in trouble at school and with The Mouth and spending much of her time with Ian. One day, Mr. Quiring came to speak to the family about Tash; Nomi noticed the nervousness with which he and Trudie interacted. He told them that Tash had potential that was going unrealized. After he left, Ray and Trudie got in a fight about what to do. Thinking of this, Nomi realizes that Tash and Trudie have a lot in common, as do she and Ray.

The Mouth approached Trudie about Tash’s behavior once, leading to a fight. Ostensibly the fight was about Tash drinking with Ian, but they’d also been going to the city and getting books from the library that The Mouth disapproved of, and Tash and Ray butted heads. For young Nomi, the library trips were too far; she thinks her fear that Tash was going to hell is why she began biting herself, which was a recurring behavior from this time in her life.

Chapter 16 Summary

Travis finds Nomi on the side of the road after a bicycle crash that she blames on a faulty chain. This is a common occurrence for her; he offers several solutions to the problem that she rejects while they undress.