Jane Hamilton The Book of Ruth

ISBN 13: 9780385265706

The Book of Ruth

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9780385265706: The Book of Ruth
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Winner of the 1989 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award  for best first novel, this exquisite book  confronts real-life issues of alienation and violence  from which the author creates a stunning testament  to the human capacity for mercy, compassion and  love.

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Review:

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.

From the Publisher:

"An extraordinary story of a family's disintegration... Will be compared to Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres. Astonishingly vivid and moving." -- People.

An enthralling tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying ways our lives" -- Entertainment Weekly.

Unforgettably, beat by beat, Hamilton maps the best and worst of the human heart and all the mysterious, uncharted country in between." -- Kirkus Reviews.

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