No Good Asking: a Novel

Finalist, Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
Finalist, 2019 ReLit Award
Hoopla Digital Book Club Selection
Reading Group Choices Book Selection
2019 Great Group Reads Selection

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Ellie and Eric Nyland have moved their two sons back to Eric’s childhood farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start. But there’s no denying it, their family is falling apart, each one of them isolated by private sorrows, stresses, and missed signals. With every passing day, Ellie’s hopes are buried deeper in the harsh winter snows.

When Eric finds Hannah Finch, the girl across the road, wandering alone in the bitter cold, his rusty police instincts kick in, and he soon discovers there are bad things happening in the girl’s house. With nowhere else to send her, the Nylands reluctantly agree to let Hannah stay with them until she can find a new home after the Christmas holidays. But Hannah proves to be more balm than burden, and the Nylands discover that the only thing harder than taking Hannah in may be letting her go. 

ISBN 978-1-77041-438-9
ECW Press, Toronto
October, 2018


Quietly powerful . . . In less careful hands, this story could have come across as sentimental or melodramatic; instead, it takes shape as a guardedly hopeful tale of resilience. —Kirkus Reviews

Kimmel's novel has only a few characters, but they all possess presence and depth and experience honest changes. —Library Journal, starred review

Nuanced characters and attention to detail make what could have been a saccharine story a deeply moving one instead. Highly recommended. —Booklist Reviews

The characters are brilliantly drawn. You're instantly rooting for them. —Hoopla Digital Book Club

There are moments in the novel that feel cinematic, that sear themselves into the reader’s imagination…It’s a wonderful read and one you won’t soon forget. —Prism Magazine

With a deft hand, Kimmel gives her characters room to grow; she shows us that given love, time and trust, we can work our way from sadness and longing to positivity and light. —Prairie Fire

Moving . . . The seemingly mundane scenes—a family dinner, for example—are the most powerful in the story and demonstrate our capacity to heal one another through compassion and kindness. —Canadian Living

Kimmel’s writing is lovely and exact. What I most enjoyed about this book is how the setting became a character in and of itself. No Good Asking absolutely nails the sense of isolation and doom, coupled with the timeless, otherworldly quality of a week spent “snowed in”. The storm here is both literal and figurative, a constant threat lurking just outside the door with no clear end in sight. —

Kimmel's characters are lovingly drawn, from the autistic child who panics at any change in his surroundings, to the old man whose non sequiturs provide a touch of humour. —Alberta Views

No Good Asking is a beautifully written story about kindness and its power to transform and heal. Kindness is something the world needs more of these days. . . A beautiful book. —Bibliophile by the Sea

Key to everything are the flawed but lovable characters Kimmel crafts with near-perfection. —

Kimmel’s novel is a perfect book for a winter’s night, the story of a cold world with warmth at its core. —Pickle Me This

Kimmel deftly creates a world that is easy to relate to, yet insular all at the same time. —I've Read This

Kimmel deftly explores family, love, loss, hope, redemption and more in No Good Asking. This was an unexpected gem of a read. —A Bookworm's World

No Good Asking pulls readers into the story hard and fast, offering a satisfying but perfectly incomplete conclusion. —Buried in Print


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