- Oprah's Book Club Selection
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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.
Did you ever think about how when you see some "sensational, human interest" tragedy on the evening news, that there are real people in that story? Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2007 by talkaboutquality
I had this book sitting on my shelf for sometime since Oprah first recommended it. I happen to pick it up recently to take to the beach. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Pam Bak
This book is definately set at a slow pace and rich in confimration of Ruth's harsh reality. It is incerdibly well written and thorough of this woman's life. Read morePublished on May 30 2004 by Ashley Mitchell
This book has been in my bookcase for several years waiting to be read. After seeing the made-for-tv movie version of this book a couple of weeks ago, I decided to pick it up and... Read morePublished on May 25 2004
I read this book many years ago but it left such an impact on me. I still remember the words from the first paragraph and the horrific ending. Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by D. Desantis
It's about a young girl who has a mean mom.It gives the feel of you are not alone to abuse victims.Helped me alotPublished on May 2 2004 by Andreacyatrousis
I belong to a book club, only one person was able to finish the book and she only like the endng. I thought it was boring, it did not hold my interest.Published on May 2 2004
I thought the narration was good, but unconvincing that Ruth was supposed to be mentally deficient... Read morePublished on May 1 2004
I didn't like reading this book. I'm glad I'm finished.
What's the point???
Young girl is born into a disastrous family,
gets involved in a disastrous marriage. Read more