Knute is a twenty-four-year-old single mother who returns home to Algren with her daughter to look after her father Tom, who has suffered a heart attack. Meanwhile, Hosea Funk, a friend of Tom's and the mayor of Algren has a lot on his mind. The prime minister has promised to pay a visit to whichever town in Canada has the smallest population. Algren has held this position for some time but recent baby booms and returning families, like Knute, threaten to tip Algren over the magic 1500 . . . AUTHOR: Miriam Toews grew up in a Mennonite community in Southern Manitoba. She now lives in Winnipeg with her family.