Drowning Ruth

  • by Christina Schwarz
  • Narrated by Blair Brown
  • 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 in it.


What the Critics Say

"A remarkable debut: surprising, unsettling and sure." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Drowning Ruth

Never thought I would enjoy this book from the write up. It really seemed like a "womens book" ladies don't take this the wrong way but it is a type of book that would appeal to women.
Maybe that statement wasn't fair. I REALLY enjoyed the book regardless of my statement.
I have even bought a copy of the hardback and many friends have borrowed it and enjoyed it as much as I did. I will say it is a little depressing and heavy on the heart as the story progresses . I recommend it to adults only because of the sensitive issues.
Thanks audible for making this available to listeners.
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- Steven

Complex Plot, Revealed in Delicious Pieces.

The listener is carefully led through a complex plot which is revealed in an unexpected and effective manner and only fully, with penultimate sacrifice, at the end of the story. Fully developed, realistic characters and setting portray a world where individual actions and avoiding truth have bold consequences. This intertwined and unpredictable story, focusing on two women and two girl-children flows well over a twenty-year time frame.
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- Robert

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2000
  • Publisher: Random House Audio