Drowning Ruth

Drowning Ruth

Book - 2000
Average Rating:
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Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut. Winter, 1919. Amanda Starkey spends her days nursing soldiers wounded in the Great War. Finding herself suddenly overwhelmed, she flees Milwaukee and retreats to her family's farm on Nagawaukee Lake, seeking comfort with her younger sister, Mathilda, and three-year-old niece, Ruth. But very soon, Amanda comes to see that her old home is no refuge--she has carried her troubles with her. On one terrible night almost a year later, Amanda loses nearly everything that is dearest to her when her sister mysteriously disappears and is later found drowned beneath the ice that covers the lake. When Mathilda's husband comes home from the war, wounded and troubled himself, he finds that Amanda has taken charge of Ruth and the farm, assuming her responsibility with a frightening intensity. Wry and guarded, Amanda tells the story of her family in careful doses, as anxious to hide from herself as from us the secrets of her own past and of that night. Ruth, haunted by her own memory of that fateful night, grows up under the watchful eye of her prickly and possessive aunt and gradually becomes aware of the odd events of her childhood. As she tells her own story with increasing clarity, she reveals the mounting toll that her aunt's secrets exact from her family and everyone around her, until the heartrending truth is uncovered. Guiding us through the lives of the Starkey women, Christina Schwarz's first novel shows her compassion and a unique understanding of the American landscape and the people who live on it.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385502535
9780385499712
038549971X
Branch Call Number: SCHW
Characteristics: 338p. 24cm.

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DorisWaggoner
Nov 05, 2015

I nearly quit reading this book several times. Mysterious books are one thing, but there was too much in this that was just plain impossible to follow, until the end. The women characters are "strong," but manipulative. The men are weak. I kept going because I wanted to know what Carl wanted to know. When I got there, I realized I should have been able to figure it out for myself. There are reasons for dysfunctional families, but as another reviewer pointed out, they "why" was never clear in this one. The writing itself is promising, for a first novel, so I might try one of her later ones.

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gvlee
Dec 20, 2014

I don't understand how this was an Oprah pick. It was mediocre at best and most of the characters are unlikeable. I only finished it to find out the truth of what happened. No plausible motive is ever given for Mathilda's drowning--we find out the how, but not the why. Maybe Oprah liked this book, but it is not recommended by me.

tdk Aug 15, 2012

There is a great review on this page that really covers how I felt about the book. An enjoyable read. http://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/drowning-ruth

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2thFxr
Jul 07, 2012

I was really looking forward to reading this book but was left disappointed. It was a slow read for me and didn't have nearly enough action. If you enjoy reading books that do nothing but explain the characters feelings and not much else, this is the book for you.

c
chelliebel
Jun 12, 2012

I adored this book. It's on my bucket list of things to do to write it as a screenplay. It's so perfectly structured to be a movie.

b
BookBear780
Nov 23, 2010

This was an excellent book. The author kept me captivated for the entire 300+ pages, leaving me wanting more every time I put the book down. It it so beautifully put together and the way all of the stories flowed into each other at the end was amazing. Definitely worth reading.

d
dying2read
Oct 27, 2010

First Oprah book I ever read and I enjoyed it a lot.

c
carness
Feb 11, 2010

Enjoyable read, dark and interesting.

r
rmc63
Nov 13, 2009

read this book years ago as inaugural book club selection and I was hooked back into reading after years of busyiness with work and kids - I can remember enjoying the story however tragic some parts were

c
Cabby
Nov 08, 2007

Oprah's book club. This is one of my favourite books.

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