The Book of Ruth

The Book of Ruth

by Jane Hamilton

Kim Sisto Robinson: Reading Jane Hamilton's "Book of Ruth" is like diving into a sea of outrageous, uncivilized dysfunction. It is like drowning. It is like observing from below the surface and unable to do a damn thing about the events happening before your eyes.

If one is a writer, The Book of Ruth is the absolute perfect novel...because it is structurally superb, beautiful, full of foreshadowing (burnt black birds hanging upside down the telephone line), flowing with imagery, honesty, and most importantly, the characters are likable, hatable, and exquisitely designed. Jane Hamilton has taken a dysfunctional, uneducated family, and through her characteration and mastery, made us care about what happens to them; made us part of the family, and believe me when I say, sometimes we don't want to be there.

"The Book of Ruth" is about families we all know--but do not invite into our lives because, well, they smell, use the wrong vocabulary, forget to brush their teeth, and make their careers at the dry-cleaners and thrift stores. These people are undesirable,invisible, and sit in the back of the bus. But Hamilton makes us live with them, get to know them, understand them, hate them, and in the end, love them, love them, love them.

One of the best novels I've ever read. The Book of Ruth is in my top 10 of FAB books for women.
Rating: *****

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