978-0-385-26570-6 / 9780385265706

The Book of Ruth


Publisher:Anchor Books



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About the book:

A girl, Ruth, is growing up the small town of Honey Creek, Illinois. All of her childhood, and most of her adult life, is spent wondering what would happen if she could get away. Her father, Elmer, left her family when she was ten, which makes her mother, May, very bitter. When she was younger, May dated a young, handsome Honey Creek man named Willard Jenson, and fell desperately in love with him. The two were married soon after, but Willard was called to war and he died during WWII, leaving May as a widow. May is extremely unhappy about Ruth, even in her childhood, because she is not like her brother, Matt. Matt is a year younger than Ruth and a genius, so he is allowed to skip a grade to be in the same class as Ruth. While Matt receives excellent grades, Ruth barely passes. Her teacher also discourages Ruth by asking why she is not like Matt. Ruth is not very popular because of the way she dresses and for being so "dumb." Ruth is miserable for most of her childhood, but some of it is spent in the company of Mrs. Finch, a widowed old blind woman whom she helps out. She soon develops a love for classic literature when she listens to audiotapes with Mrs. Finch after school. Her Aunt Sid encourages this love for literature and becomes penpals with Ruth, as she and May do not get along.

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