RaveSewanee ReviewOhlin’s characters are compelling and subtle, as is the world they inhabit. They evolve but remain very much themselves ... The prose in Dual Citizens is spare and thoughtful, like Lark herself. Ohlin’s style resists melodrama and instead imbues moments with emotional gravity using the simple weight of Lark’s testimony ... It could be said that Ohlin chooses to portray too large a swath of life in this novel (in one instance, she glosses over three years with a single sentence). I’d argue, though, that the novel is made in these small moments of sparkling clarity, where the affection a reader feels for these achingly flawed and lifelike characters bumps up against Ohlin’s clear-headed and honest depictions of their struggle. Dual Citizens is a gentle and moving exploration of what bonds us to those we love and the evolving strength or tenuousness of those bonds ... Loving others is not easy for the girls, or even the women they become, in this book. They are buoyed over the deep water of their losses and devastating joys by their unassailable bonds, their invisible garments of love and trust. This is their story, entrusted to us via Ohlin’s vast emotional intelligence and illuminating, unassuming prose.
PositiveThe Sewanee ReviewTo read Women Talking is to be in the hayloft with the women as they comfort and confront each other, and as they acknowledge the trauma they endure and share. Toews does not force her characters to condemn their religion; instead, their experience leads them to reject the ways their religion has harmed them while embracing, in a show of faithful solidarity, the love and community purportedly at the Mennonite faith’s core. By the time the women reach their decision, they are both uniquely rendered individuals and timeless, archetypes of any woman oppressed by her society.