"Love Enough" by Dionne Brand

“There is nothing universal or timeless about this love business…It is hard if you really want to do it right.”

In the city of Toronto, millions of people go about their daily lives, surviving, thriving, and falling in and out of love.  It is in this city that we meet four people - June, Bedri, Da’uud, and Lia - whose lives intersect as they make their way through the urban landscape.

Love Enough, by Dionne Brand, is a beautiful and poetic look at love, relationships, and living in the moment.  Brand’s writing can best be summed up by the words “the little things,” as she gets to the very core of a person and their emotions.  She subtly touches upon the things that are difficult to see, that make a person who they are.  

June has had a string of lovers over her lifetime, people whose lives have been wrapped up in politics, activism, and uncertainty.  But now she is facing mid-life with her love Sydney who couldn’t be more different from those in June’s past.  Da’uud is a Somalian immigrant who drives a taxi in Toronto, and is trying to steer his children toward a better life.  His son Bedri, already feeling isolated, becomes wrapped up in a senseless act of violence.  Lia is struggling to find herself by coming to terms with her broken family.  These characters, and their lovers and friends, bring us the messages of love, need, and belonging against the backdrop of a beautiful city.

I love Dionne Brand’s writing.  As a poet, her words flow across the pages of her novels, delicately touching the rawness that comes with urban life.  This book reads as a tribute - to love, to Toronto, to living - and easily weaves its way right through your soul.  

I love a book set in Toronto, it is my beautiful city after all and there is no place I’d rather be.  But in this book, Toronto is more than a city, it’s a character.  Its life breathes through the pages.  If you don’t know the city, this book will show you its essence.  


Dionne Brand was Poet Laureate of Toronto from 2009-2012.  She has won the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Toronto Book Award, and the Harbourfront Festival Prize.  In other words, she is one of CanLit’s finest, and should be on the bookshelves of everyone who loves good writing.  If you haven’t read anything of hers yet, Love Enough is an incredible place to start.

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