The Book of Ruth
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The Book of Ruth

3.82 (57,555 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"I learned slowly, that if you don't look at the world with perfect vision, you 're bound to get yourself cooked" Having come within an inch of her life, Ruth Dahl is determined to take a good look at it -- to figure out whether, in fact, she's to blame for the mess. Pegged the loser in a small-town family that doesn't have much going for it in the first place, Ruth grows up in the shadow of her brilliant brother, trying to hold her own in a world of poverty and hard edges. Matt's brain is his ticket out of Honey Creek. Ruth, without options, cleaves instead to her tough, half-crazy mother, May, and eventually to Ruby, the sweet but slightly deranged young man she loves, marries, and supports. When the precarious household erupts in violence, Ruth is the only one who can piece their story together -- and she gets at the truth in a manner at once ferocious, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In this powerful, incandescent novel, Jane Hamilton has worked a miracle: she has given voice to a young woman you have passed on the street a thousand times. Perhaps you have never noticed her, hut the next time you see her, you will know who she is. Passionate in her commitment to life, Ruth is a stunning testament to the human capacity for mercy, compassion, and love. "The Book of Ruth" is a magnificent audio experience. Copyright © 1997 by Jane Hamilton Performance copyright 1997 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Anchor Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0385265700
  • 9780385265706
  • 444,979

Review quote

"An American beauty this book.... The narrator of Jane Hamilton's sensational first novel is a holy lusty innocent." -Vogue "A sly and wistful, if harrowing, human comedy. Hamilton is a new and original voice in fiction and one well worth listening to." -Boston Sunday Globe "Ms. Hamilton gives Ruth a humble dignity and allows her hope-but it's not a heavenly hope. It's a common one, caked with mud and held with gritted teeth. And it's probably the only kind that's worth reading about." -The New York Times Book Review "Hamilton's story builds to a shocking crescendo. Her small-town characters are a appealingly offbeat and brushed with grace as any found in Alice Hoffman's or Anne Tyler's novels." -Glamour "Jane Hamilton's novel is authentically Dickensian.... The real achievement of this first novel is not so much the blackness as the suggestion of resilience. At the end, Ruth begins to put together her shattered body, spirit and life. Her words are awkward, as they have been all along, but suddenly and unexpectedly they shine." -Los Angeles Times "A disturbing and beautiful book." -Hilma Wolitzer "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 of 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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Flap copy

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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About Jane Hamilton

Jane Hamilton is the author of The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction; A Map of the World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and named one of the top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, the Miami Herald, and People magazine; Disobedience; and The Short History of a Prince. She lives in Rochester, Wisconsin.
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Rating details

57,555 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 27% (15,387)
4 39% (22,383)
3 26% (15,083)
2 6% (3,462)
1 2% (1,240)
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