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Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
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Drowning Ruth (edition 2000)

by Christina Schwarz

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3,291591,658 (3.52)65
Member:annaeccentric
Title:Drowning Ruth
Authors:Christina Schwarz
Info:Doubleday (2000), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 338 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction

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Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

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English (57)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This is a REALLY good book. I recommend it. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Review: Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz.

This was an interesting and fascinating read. I enjoyed and was moved by the concepts the author used by entwining the methods of family sticking together to form a bond. It’s a novel of one caring family member protecting one family member after another.

It’s a fiction story about secrets and the love formed within a family that gives the strength they need to do anything to make sure they stay safe. The story relates how coincidences and a lack of communication could achieve different responses from people to form conclusions of their own that occasionally misunderstanding the true secret that it was trying to protect. This description is how people get the wrong idea even in today’s time.

The novel exhibited the love between family members and how our hearts lead us to protect and keep secrets within a family over years. It was a quick and easy read that kept me turning the pages to the surprising conclusion.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
It's interesting that the title is "Drowning Ruth" not "Ruth Drowned" ... as if this is a continuing process, and in fact, it is.

Ruth nearly drowns, literally; her mother does drown. Her aunt Mandy raises Ruth and drowns her in "love." When she finally shares the truth with Ruth, Ruth discovers that Mandy has wormed her way so deep inside her that she can never leave her aunt. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 10, 2016 |


Although I enjoyed reading this book and had to find out exactly what happened to Mattie, I found the ending very unsatisfying. I found the plot intriguing but the narrative a little disjointed (there were too many narrative voices). All in all a good holiday read. ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
4.5 stars ( )
  LiteraryChanteuse | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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To Ben ~~~ and in memory of Louise Baecke Claeys (1902-1999) ~~~ and Marfa
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Ruth remembered drowning.
Quotations
…already his memory had lost the range of her expressions. He could summon her only in a few guises – glimpses of her face that for no particular reason had stuck in his mind.
… somehow they’d settled into a family at last, the various tasks of life divided comfortably among them, and the days now turned like a wheel with three spokes.
They felt an affection for one another based on their old love and sustained by avoiding personal conversation.
She was bone tired of all this running and hiding, of living alone with a monstrous hump of truth strapped to her back.
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Book description
The circumstances of the drowning of Ruth's mother serves as the catalyst that precipitates an intriguing flow of interrelated events in the lives of Amanda (the drowned woman's sister) and her neice Ruth.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345439104, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, September 2000: For 19th-century novelists--from Jane Austen to George Eliot, Flaubert to Henry James--social constraint gave a delicious tension to their plots. Yet now our relaxed morals and social mobility have rendered many of the classics untenable. Why shouldn't Maisie know what she knows? It will all come out in family therapy anyway. The vogue for historical novels depends in part on our pleasure in reentering a world of subtle cues and repressed emotion, a time in which a young woman could destroy her life by saying yes to the wrong man. After all, there was no reliable birth control, no divorce, no chance of an independent life or a scandal-free separation.

Christina Schwarz's suspenseful debut pivots on two of the lost "virtues" of the past: silence and stoicism. Drowning Ruth opens in 1919, on the heels of the influenza epidemic that followed the First World War. Although there were telephones and motor cars and dance halls in the small towns of Wisconsin in those years, the townspeople remained rigid and forbidding. As a young woman, Amanda Starkey, a Lutheran farmer's daughter, had been firmly discouraged from an inappropriate marriage with a neighboring Catholic boy. A few years later, as a nurse in Milwaukee, she is seduced by a dishonorable man. Her shame sends her into a nervous breakdown, and she returns to the family farm. Within a year, though, her beloved sister Mathilde drowns under mysterious circumstances. And when Mathilde's husband, Carl, returns from the war, he finds his small daughter, Ruth, in Amanda's tenacious grip, and she will tell him nothing about the night his wife drowned. Amanda's parents, too, are long gone. "I killed my parents. Had I mentioned that?" muses Amanda.

I killed them because I felt a little fatigued and suffered from a slight, persistent cough. Thinking I was overworked and hadn't been getting enough sleep, I went home for a short visit, just a few days to relax in the country while the sweet corn and the raspberries were ripe. From the city I brought fancy ribbon, two boxes of Ambrosia chocolate, and a deadly gift... I gave the influenza to my mother, who gave it to my father, or maybe it was the other way around.
Schwarz is a skillful writer, weaving her grim tale across several decades, always returning to the fateful night of Mathilde's death. Drowning Ruth displays her gift for pacing and her harsh insistence on the right ending, rather than the cheery one. --Regina Marler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:30 -0400)

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Worn out from nursing soldiers at a Milwaukee hospital and struggling to recover from a traumatic love affair, Amanda Starkey returns to her family's rural Wisconsin farm to stay with her beloved sister, Mattie, and a young niece, Ruth. An Oprah Book Club selection and bestseller in hardcover, Drowning Ruth, now in paperback, is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart. Schwarz's first novel explores themes of family love, sibling rivalry, duty, loyalty, and a possible murder.… (more)

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