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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Jane Hamilton touched readers' hearts with her emotionally-charged novel, A Map of the World. She intimately involves her readers, again, with The Book of Ruth, winner of the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award. Growing up in a world of physical and emotional poverty, Ruth believes her shrewish mother's assessment of her - that she is dimwitted and worthless. When she marries an emotionally unstable ne'er-do-well, her troubles only multiply. Her job at the dry cleaners can't afford her little family the luxury of moving out of her mother's house. As the incessant bickering between her troubled husband and her abusive mother reaches a violent climax, Ruth must find a way to survive. The Book of Ruth shines as a bittersweet testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
©1988 Jane Hamilton (P)1997 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By C. Byrnes on 03-30-09

It Enters Your Soul

I bought this book for two reasons. One, it was long and I had a lot of housework to do one weekend and enjoy the distraction of a good tale. and two, I liked the narrator's voice.

I found myself pulled into Ruth's world and that isn't necessarily a good thing. I had to stop listening a few times as I found myself slipping into her unhappiness.

This is a very poignant tale where the dynamics of family dysfunctional relationships are explored and often beaten down with a sledge hammer.

If you want something light and cheery, this isn't for you. If you think you can handle being introspective for the 13 hours it takes to listen, I would highly recommend it.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Babette on 04-05-09

This Book Makes My Lifetime Top 10

I loved the printed book and loved the abridged audio book and was excited to see this book become available. But this version just wasn't as good as the others. The audio quality for parts of the book was poor. The narrator didn't seem to understand the story and I found myself correcting her diction as I listened. The story is amazing, haunting, memorable. Worth picking up if you like interesting characters. Chances are, you'll see someone you know in Ruby, Ruth or May. Ruth is a heroine worth rooting for. Jane Hamilton's ear for dialog is superb. This is an older title. Its worth a listen.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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