Alternating between a woman’s childhood in a small town and as an adult in the city, this novel traces a Jehovah Witness family’s splintering belief system, their isolation, and the erosion of their relationships. As Emily becomes closer to her closeted Uncle Tyler, she begins to challenge her upbringing. Her questions about the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ insular lifestyle, rigid codes of conduct, and tenets of their faith haunt her older sister Lenora too. When Lenora disappears, everything changes and Emily becomes obsessed with taking on her sister’s identity, believing that Lenora is controlling her actions. Ultimately, Emily finds release through self-mutilation.
The narrative offers a haunting, cutting exploration of the Jehovah’s Witness practice and practical impact of “disfellowshipping,” proselytization, and cultural abstinence, as well as their attitude toward the “worldlings” outside of their faith. Sparse, vivid, menacingly suspenseful, and darkly humorous, Watch How We Walk simultaneously engages on emotional, visceral, and intellectual levels.
Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of the poetry collections The Dagger Between Her Teeth and I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel. Her writing has been published widely, and she studied creative writing at York University. She divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Haliburton. Watch How We Walk is her first novel.
"ThereÓ³ blisteringly gorgeous prose in the novel, and the first-person chapters are riveting." ×¦amp;lt;I>Publishers Weekly
"Jennifer LoveGrove evokes the gossamer thin line we must all walk to form identity inside family, faith, and devastation. She achieves this with compassion, wit, and charm. Watch How We Walk is an elegant, heartbreaking tightrope of a debut novel." - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of Perfecting and The Nettle Spinner