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The Book of Ruth | [Jane Hamilton]

The Book of Ruth

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.
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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (79 )
5 star
 (23)
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3.9 (38 )
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Story
4.0 (38 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    C. Byrnes Kissimmee, FL United States 03-30-09
    C. Byrnes Kissimmee, FL United States 03-30-09 Member Since 2008

    Christine

    HELPFUL VOTES
    160
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    38
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    "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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Babette Loveland, CO, United States 04-05-09
    Babette Loveland, CO, United States 04-05-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb New Milford, CT, United States 02-09-12
    Deb New Milford, CT, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A Story of Survival"

    Although the protagonist is verbally beaten down by her mother and those around her, she never plays the victim. She and the other characters were wonderfully developed and the narration was great. I enjoyed listening to the story and was left wanting more at then end. It was touching how she began to become more confident, but like all of us still had her doubts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryola Farmingdale, NY, United States 08-18-10
    Maryola Farmingdale, NY, United States 08-18-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Very depressing, and much to slow for my liking"

    Victims are totally not my cup of tea. I was completely disappointed in this book. Knowing a little about this background, there were moments when I felt that she was smart and going to get out from behind the cloud that she was born under. It shed a completely deferent light on her when her brother’s letter was read, and she did not get it, instead she was angry with him, when she should have seen that he was her victim and the brunt of her anger, as she was her mother’s. Very disappointing, would not and have not recommended it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie RICHMOND, CA, United States 07-21-13
    Leslie RICHMOND, CA, United States 07-21-13
    ratings
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    Story
    "Great Book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Book of Ruth to be better than the print version?

    Quality was great but there was a slight echo in the background of the recording.. But nothing that deterred me from listening to it or using services again


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say it was my fav but as a social worker listening to how it all came together with Ruby was amazing crazy


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Book of Ruth would fit perfect


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marj Prince Albert, SK, Canada 06-24-13
    Marj Prince Albert, SK, Canada 06-24-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A sad tragic story, not uplifting."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you are into tragic stories, this is the book for you.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jane Hamilton again?

    Judging by this book, no.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this story very sad. Not sure if it is based on a real experience or not. I want to read funny uplifting books and this was not it. It didn't appeal to me, that doesn't mean it's not a good book, someone else might enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 08-13-12
    Debra 08-13-12
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    "Beautifully read touching story"

    I highly recommend this listen, the story is poignantl and heartfelt and the narration is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Lakewood, WA, United States 05-14-09
    Joanna Lakewood, WA, United States 05-14-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    1
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    "Too Depressing to Listen"

    I'm sorry but I had to turn it off. Although beautifully written and poetic, the story is just too depressing. Give me something uplifting, not something I want to run from screaming.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
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