Not the book for me. Waaay to hard to get into.
I absolutely loved the story that main character Ruth tells about her pathetic family in rural Illinois, I can't believe this was the author Jane Hamilton's first novel, it's brilliant and made me laugh and gasp in horror too. Ruth's mother May had a hard life - her first husband and love of her life was killed at war, her brilliant son Matt never returned her love, her second husband abandoned her, she's alienated her entire family, and as far as she's concerned her daughter Ruth can't do anything right. Ruth grows up trying and failing to please her mother; and settles on Ruby, the first man to pay her the slightest attention. Ruby, like everybody else in this book, is damaged; also he can't keep a job or his clarity, even after they have their baby Justin. Ruth and Ruby together are completely headed towards catastrophe but she tells the story with such love and conviction it's never difficult to read at any point... eventually it all comes to a shocking head, and then she just continues on telling it until I'm sad the book ends.
This book is a seemingly simple narrative, from a seemingly simple perspective that is filled with emotion and complex characters. Ruth offers insights into a life without all the extras. She shows through reflection how emotions can be twisted and shaped. This was a unique read but still interesting.