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Drowning Ruth a Novel Oprahs Book Club by Christina Schwarz - A Ripping Good Storypdf

Drowning Ruth a Novel Oprahs Book Club by Christina Schwarz - A Ripping Good Storypdf

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Drowning Ruth: A Novel (Oprahs Book Club) by Christina Schwarz

My New Favorite Book!

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 shouldnt 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 Schwarzs 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 farmers 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 Mathildes husband, Carl, returns from the war, he finds his small daughter, Ruth, in Amandas tenacious grip, and she will tell him nothing about the night his wife drowned. Amandas 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 hadnt 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 Mathildes death. Drowning Ruth displays her gift for pacing and her harsh insistence on the right ending, rather than the cheery one. --Regina Marler This is a wonderful engrossing book; it is divided between Amanda telling her story and her niece,Ruth, telling how she fits into the book. The book contains much. There is the mystery of Mathilda's death, how did she drown? Was Amanda responsible for her sisters' death? If she did kill Mathilda why? Question is how did all this really happen? Noone knows but those involved and one of them would never tell. Next is these characters living in the world of nature. There is the sharp cool colors of winter, snow everywhere and closing in everything in its orbit, a beautiful season, cold and harsh. Next comes spring with renewal of life. Tiny pale green leaves appear on trees and spring flowers carpet and beautify the ground. After comes the hot,lush sleepy days of summer. Then there is the dying back of the land in autumn with its beautiful colors which light up the world around them. This is the most beautiful season of all. Plus there is the lake which is beautiful, but deadly. It has taken lives, especially the life of a loved one, Mathilda, Ruths' mother, Amandas' sister, Carls' wife. But these characters loved tne land, loved the bounties they grew and loved it even when it took from them. Amanda is a woman of her time,close mouthed and secretive; so much different from this day and age when people parade their wrong doings proudly on televison for all to see. The characters in this novel kept their sins inside, refusing to confide in those close to them or even to those who should be told and had every right to know the truth. This is also a story of children being raised by parents who were mentally and emotionally ill. Amanda's mother was warm, loving, full of fun, the kind of mother any kid would love to have. The next day she would chase her daughter away calling her a noisy, pesty brat who gave her a headache. The father was cold and unemotional. When Mathilda was born eight years after her sister, Amanda had to spend too much time raising and parenting the younger girl. This is too much responsibility for a little girl. Ruths' mother drowned when she was four; her father had spent much of her babyhood in Europe fighting in World War I. These two clung together feeling that each other was all each other had. When Amanda had another mental breakdown she was sent to a sanitarium to recuperate. Carls' cousin came to keep house for father and daughter. Ruth behaved as an obnoxius brat and drove the poor woman away all so that Amanda could come back. When it was time for Ruth to go to school Amanda told Ruth to pretend she was too sick and couldn't attend. But both were found out.

When at school Ruth met her best and only friend, Imogene. Imogene was the opposite of Ruth; she was fun loving, outgoing, extroverted and had a great personality. Imogene had come from a normal family background and had loving parents who would let her be all that she could be. Ruth was quiet, introverted, distrustful of people and did not like to made friends. Amanda disapproved of this friendship just as she disapproved of Carl coming back from the service and moving in with Ruth and Amanda. Amanda was instrumental in drivi ng him away.. So i suggest reading this book to find out how all ended. Great read.

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