41 pages 1 hour read

Miriam Toews

A Complicated Kindness

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2004

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Chapters 21-28

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 21 Summary

The next day at school, Nomi gets in trouble for sleeping and then fights with Travis when he comes to pick her up. Nomi is reminded of the time after Tash left when she had recurring nightmares. Trudie stormed over to The Mouth’s house one night with Nomi and demanded he apologize to her for making her think Tash was going to hell. He refused; instead, he called Ray to “come get his wife” (172) as Trudie threw rocks at his house.

After school, Travis returns and apologizes. He drives her out to his parents’ cabin and says that’s where they’ll have sex for the first time.

After the incident with The Mouth, Trudie walked around at night and entered a period of grief. Nomi walks around town too, and as she does, she sees that The Mouth has put up what he thinks is a funny sign at the church. Something about it makes her start to weep uncontrollably. She goes to his office and bangs on the door; there’s no answer, so she returns to the sign and wrecks it. She sits by it, talking to the strangers who bother her, then heads to the hospital.

Lydia’s parents are there discussing things with the nurses.