Drowning Ruth Paperback – Large Print, August 1, 2001
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|Paperback, Large Print, August 1, 2001||
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- Publisher : Wheeler Pub Inc (August 1, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 422 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1568951795
- ISBN-13 : 978-1568951799
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,320,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I had read several reviews before purchasing this book, some great and some disappointing. I have not found all of Oprah's choices to be my favorites, but really liked this one!
I feel that the story dragged on and the resolution to the story was very unsatisfying.
That in itself is enough to encourage you to read this book. The entire novel is the result of an act done udring a moment of horror; this is true melodrama in the sense that we watch how ordinary people react to extraordinary situations. Nlt every melodrama is a "Sweeney Todd". This one is subtle, rich with intelligence and curushingly beautiful.
"Drowning Ruth" is compelling and becomes a fast read. Some may claim this to be a feminist work or perhaps historical fiction though I do not. This is a carefully crafted novel about human condition and the things poeople had to do in order to avoid cultural outcasting during the twentie's and thirties. Our Central Character is a sad woman named Amanda (Mandy and Amy as well, depending upon whom is supplying her knick-name) a college educated registerred nurse who suffers from what is surely post traumatic stress dissorder the onset of which occurs during the last year of war while working a Chicago hospital. However the onset of this illness is not at all war-related and a single evening destroys any chance Amanda had to ever have a "normal" life. She returns home to her sister, Mathilda (Mattie - the use of knick names are abundant on all women except for Ruth. I'll let you decider why.)Because the story isn't told chronologically, we get to know Mattie well, despite the fact that she drowns in the lake where her family owns an island within the early pages of the book. Amandea takes on the care of Ruth and then, when Mathilda's husband,Carl returns home from France, a wounded soldier, they settle into a new routine; a family where each of the three members are an island.The island on which they live becomes both a fortress and a metaphor for safety. As with all the men in this book, Carl is dispensed with quietly after a misunderstanding that causes him to leave for work and Amanda and Ruth are once again alone together moving from the farm on the mainland to the cottage on their island.
This is a book about communication, love, dedication and family values. This is a book that assures us that even one hundred years ago, people were the same as they are today. This is a book that causes you to silently urge the characters toward choices because we are given more information than they are. So as Amanda and Ruth move through their lives the multitudes of roads not taken would appear to be straight and well matted, while the roads they DO travel are circuitous and require a bit of work with a syth. Ms Schwarz chooses a place to stop telling her story though it is clear that the story could continue on- perhaps even into the 21st Century. But less is more and Schwarz knows this. We get to know our characters so well that we can clearly understand what the next fifty years will bring anyway.
"Drowning Ruth" is beautifully crafted with a voice that sings.