Regular price: $21.27

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $21.27

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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.
Executive Producer: Sherry Huber
Original Jacket Photograph: William A. Bake/Tib Swanstock
Original Jacket Design: Timothy Hsu
Author Photo © Jerry Bauer
©2000 Christina Schwarz
(P)2000 Random House, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Steven on 01-12-05

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.

Read More Hide me

9 of 9 people found this review helpful


By Robert on 08-23-04

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.

Read More Hide me

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Silly Sharon on 03-09-16

Chosen for the orator but stayed for the story

I enjoyed this story although truth be told I only chose it for the performance if Blair Brown. The way the book is written with perspectives constantly changing, time zone being run back and forward. It's intriguing
Nevertheless, this book had me from the start, with its easily weaving storyline this is a story not just restricted to it's time.

Read More Hide me

By Jenny on 03-06-16

Family secrets

This was an interesting novel. There were many twists in this tale and many secrets between family. The narration was good, however the way the book was structured, it may have been easier to follow if I was actually reading the book. The story was told from several different perspectives and listening to the audio it was sometimes difficult to figure out who was "speaking" ar the time.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2017 Audible, Inc