Swing Low

Swing Low

A Life

Book - 2001
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One morning Mel Toews put on his coat and hat and walked out of town, prepared to die. A loving husband and father, faithful member of the Mennonite church, and immensely popular schoolteacher, he was a pillar of his close-knit community. Yet after a lifetime of struggle, he could no longer face the darkness of manic depression. With razor-sharp precision, "Swing Low" tells his story in his own voice, taking us deep inside the experience of despair. But it is also a funny, winsome evocation of country life: growing up on farm, courting a wife, becoming a teacher, and rearing a happy, strong family in the midst of private torment. A humane, inspiring story of a remarkable man, father, and teacher.
Publisher: New York : Arcade Pub., 2001
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781559705875
Branch Call Number: 616.895 TOEWS
Characteristics: xiv, 191 p. ; 22 cm


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Sep 20, 2016

As I read the first few pages of this book, I cannot help the tears flowing and my heart sinking......depression, family dysfunctions, addiction and obsession- my past, present and future. Toews writing is so honest and it hurts and haunts!

Jul 25, 2015

It's difficult to understand what depression must be like. One sentence in the book strikes me as very insightful: There are no windows within the dark house of depression through which to see others, only mirrors (p. 179). As I started reading "All My Puny Sorrows", I can see some parallel family stories in Swing Low, and somehow want to know more about Elvira. I wonder if she'll write about her someday.

Jul 19, 2011

A very good book.
Those who suffer from depression, will understand
described suffering. Brings tears.

Goober1950 Jul 03, 2011


Jan 16, 2011

A fictional account of her father's life. He suffered from severe depression and eventually committed suicide. He had a successful life as a teacher, but his depression took a toll on his family. Toews helps us to understand what it was like without attempting to offer solutions.


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