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A Virtuous Woman (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – November 5, 1997
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman share more than just location and a few characters in common. Though each is a complete novel in and of itself, taken together the two books resonate one another: Ellen Foster and Ruby Pitt Woodrow are both damaged people who find the kind of love they need to heal. These multilayered novels are tough-minded and resolutely unsentimental, just like their protagonists. Yet like Ellen and Ruby, each contains a nut of sweetness at its core that takes the bitter edge off the hard lives and hard stories Kaye Gibbons has to tell.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This story follows Jack's love for his wife through their marriage, through Ruby's illness and beyond.
It's a sweet story that will pull at your heart strings and I have to say, it had me crying at one point til I couldn't see through the tears.
You will love Ruby and Jack. You'll want to take their hands and help them. And there are some characters that you just won't like at all! Some truely mean people.
This is a quick read and a very enjoyable, hard to put down book. I strongly recommend reading this book. It's just plain old fashioned love and tenderness between two good human beings and the struggles they endure.
The book is written in first person narration with both Jack and Ruby narrating alternate chapters (except the last chapter which is written in the third person). This technique helps make both characters seem real. For me, personally, Jack was the character I most cared about, mostly because we know from the very beginning that Ruby dies and we see that Jack is lost without her.
This is one of those simple, quiet kind of books where there is little action or plot, just the story of two people who come to love and care for each other. Yet, it's the kind of story that will stay with you long after you've read it.
One is Ruby's...kind,beautiful Ruby, who happens to be at the right place at the right time when she meets Jack Stokes. The opposite of her abusive, drinkin, womenizin first husband. Ruby tells us how Jack takes her away from all that dysfunction, promising her a decent life, caring for her, treating her like the lady she is.
Jack devotes himself completely to Ruby, gives his heart to her, showing his love in unique ways. For instance, buying her a mule!
He isn't the best looking man, or the smartest...but that was enough for Ruby.
Then there's Jack's voice. Jack is a man after my own heart. I couldn't help thinking...this book could have just as well been called, "A Virtuous Man"
40 yrs old when he sets eyes on Ruby sitting under a pecan tree...He says, "now that's a girl I could marry."
And after those eyes meet hers, nothing is the same. Everything afterwards begins and ends with Ruby.
I adored Jacks narrative, his kindness, the love he expressed to Ruby. After Ruby dies, the only thing keeping him going is wishing and hoping she comes back...laying next to him in bed, her skin touching his skin, smelling of lavender, and eating her usual dish of yogurt.
Gibbon's gives us other memorable characters also, like Little Fran, who is the devil dressed as a fat woman.
She gives up Mavis, who is hired when Ruby dies to help around the house but mostly helps herself to orange candy and soda and breaks the toilet seat.
I enjoyed the book, but the 4 star rating is for Jack. His voice makes the story much more interesting than it would have been otherwise.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book, it has such heart! I can feel the sorrow, the loss, the pain. The happy times these characters made out of what they had is what pulled it all together. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Raquel Weber
A quick read. If your looking for this book get it used. I really liked this book. It was a every day type of book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Yahaira Cope
This a brief story of the struggles and love between people growing up together under conditions of severe poverty - as they try to maintain their sense of dignity and independence... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Carol J. Berkus
Beautiful story of an unlikely relationship, a forty-year-old migrant worker and the twenty-year-old daughter of a landowner, already once widowed. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Karen D
I enjoyed the book but thought it could of had a better ending.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
The ending came up short for me but the book as a whole was very thoughtful. It brought to mind my own troubled relationships and why I choose the men I did. Provocative! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bettina