Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Book of Ruth, by Jane Hamilton

I read and reviewed this book in September, 2002. I was a new Bookcrosser, and had met another new Bookcrosser at a bookstore. We exchanged books, as Bookcrossers do. This is the one she gave me; I sent it to another Bookcrosser after finishing it, as part of a bookbox.

I found The Book of Ruth disturbing, depressing, and haunting, but I couldn't put it down. Just had to keep reading, to find out what happens next. The horriying climax is indescribable.

This book has remained in my mind like few others. It was disturbing, yes, and I didn't enjoy reading it, but it has made me think, and consider in a new way people I might not have given a second thought. The main character in The Book of Ruth was so unlike me that I had trouble relating to her, but I was able to see that people like her aren't just "poor white trash." They have feelings, emotions, dreams, hopes, and maybe make poor decisions for lack of perceiving better choices.

I won't just dismiss such people when I see them around town, or read about them in the newspaper. I will try to remember that they are real people with real lives, and problems that I can't imagine.

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