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Oprah Book Club® Selection, November 1996: The Book of Ruth is a virtuoso performance and that's precisely why it can be excruciating to read. Author Jane Hamilton leads us through the arid life of Ruth Grey, who extracts what small pleasures and graces she can from a tiny Illinois town and the broken people who inhabit it. Ruth's prime tormentor is her mother May, whose husband died in World War II and took her future with him. More poor familial luck has given Ruth a brother who is a math prodigy; Matt sucks up any stray attention like a black hole. Ruth is left to survive on her own resources, which are meager. She struggles along, subsisting on crumbs of affection meted out by her Aunt Sid and, later, her screwed-up husband Ruby. Hamilton has perfect pitch. So perfect that you wince with pain for confused but fundamentally good Ruth as she walks a dead-end path. The book ends with the prospect of redemption, thank goodness--but the tale is nevertheless much more bitter than sweet.
"In her first novel, Hamilton takes on a challenge too large for her talents," said PW of this tale about a Midwestern woman who is loyal to her wounded and wounding family. "Hamilton evokes Ruth's character marvelously, but others as seen by her are incompletely rendered."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Spoken WORD is a tool that many of us use to communicate our expressions of thought. In this story the spoken WORD was used to abuse, uplift, encourage, and to express ones... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kathleen M. Lucey
The Book of Ruth
by Jane Hamilton
Ruth Grey lived with her mother May and her brother Matt in rural Honey Creek, Illinois. Read more
I was first introduced to this as an audio book. If you have the chance listen to it. It reads well but the narrator they chose for this brings to life the despair and the joy with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by T. Spagnola
One of my all time favorite novels. Stunning ending. I read it years ago..a good friend read it recently and had the same reaction to it, superb.Published 6 months ago by L. Devine
This is one of my favorite books. Hamilton draws the reader into the nuances of Ruth's life, a woman trapped in a cycle of emotional abuse without the knowledge or tools to know... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Leigh Trammell
I forced myself to read it for book club . I was glad I have a better life than
The book club liked the book.
Found no background on the writer