Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Drowning Ruth" by Christina Schwarz

Drowning Ruth   

The Between The Lines Book Club's May discussion was an older Oprah book club selection called Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz. Our book club is rather large with usually 14 to 16 in attendance.  This month only eight attended which was actually the perfect number for discussion.  No one could remember who selected this book but it was a great idea to go back and look at an older "book club" type book.  Everyone enjoyed the book and it created lots of very lively discussion.
 The story is told from different characters' outlooks and also from the point of view of a main charaacter at different ages.  At first this may take a little getting used to but it is an interesting technique.  We all agreed this story is like a soap opera but then, what is a soap opera but just the telling of stories of the lives and interactions of different people, in this case, family members with a terrible secret.

 BookBrowse says:  "Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut."

The author shows how secrets carry through time damaging everyone.  One of the fascinating parts of this story is how perception of an event or non-event effects each of the characters.  Without any basis in truth an entire event (infidelity) that never occurred is perceived to have happened by the husband of one of the sisters.  If you want to wake up the book club members just mention this topic!  Boy oh boy, did this create a lively discussion.

We all agreed this book was an excellent book club choice for creating lots of discussion.  Or, why not check it out just for the pleasure of reading a good book with very developed sympathetic characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

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