Book Reviews of A Virtuous Woman

A Virtuous Woman
A Virtuous Woman
Author: Kaye Gibbons
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ISBN-13: 9780375703065
ISBN-10: 0375703063
Publication Date: 11/5/1997
Pages: 176
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 347

3.4 stars, based on 347 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

37 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 362 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
A terrible title as I don't see how it relates to this little bittersweet tale at all.
It is a love story that can be read in a few consecutive hours, but should haunt you for days, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps the Southern tone...I'm a sucker there. Or that it is half told by an old man reminiscing...I'm a sucker there, too. And told somewhat from the grave...
In thinking about this, and trying to write out the plot here without looking it up on amazon, I can't. I don't know what the plot is. And I don't care.
I highly recommend this little book.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Alovely, simple tale of a marriage.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I absolutely love Kaye Gibbons and her ability to use voice in her writing. This novel is no exception. As usual, she examines the point of view of southern female characters and Ruby Pitt Woodrow does not dissappoint. Her background would lead one to expect that she would marry up in society, but reality has another course for her to follow. Very readable and relatable. I highly recommend this novel.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 110 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Bought it because it was an Oprah Book and looked interesting.. Very sweet yet sad story of a broken man that finds comfort only to have it all change on him. Definately a different kind of read. you were in just about every characters thought at some point in the story.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 83 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amazon.com
Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997: Gibbons's novel, A Virtuous Woman, takes place in the same hardscrabble part of the world as Ellen Foster. The virtuous woman is Ruby Pitt Woodrow, a woman who might have ended up like Ellen Foster's mother if fate, in the shape of Jack Stokes, hadn't crossed her path. The daughter of prosperous farmers, Ruby runs off with a migrant worker who treats her badly, then abandons her far from home. When she meets Jack, a man 20 years her senior, she's working as a cleaning woman in another prosperous farmer's house. Jack is a man women don't look at even once, let alone twice; Ruby is a woman who needs someone to take care of her. Out of this unlikely union grows a quiet kind of love that is no less powerful for being unstated.

Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman share more than just location and a few characters in common. Though each is a complete novel in and of itself, taken together the two books resonate one another: Ellen Foster and Ruby Pitt Woodrow are both damaged people who find the kind of love they need to heal. These multilayered novels are tough-minded and resolutely unsentimental, just like their protagonists. Yet like Ellen and Ruby, each contains a nut of sweetness at its core that takes the bitter edge off the hard lives and hard stories Kaye Gibbons has to tell.

From Publishers Weekly
Jack Stokes and Ruby Pitt weave this strong, tightly knit love story in alternating chapters that begin when Jack, grieving over Ruby's death four months earlier, evokes the past. In flashbacks, the two richly cadenced Southern voices explore their vastly differing backgrounds, troubled histories and their unlikely but loving marriage. Born into a proud, prominent country family, coddled and adored, Ruby stuns her parents and two brothers by inexplicably running off with John Woodrow, a migrant worker who savagely abuses her. When John is killed in a brawl, Ruby, too proud to ask her family for help, begins doing housework for the wealthy Hoover family, where she meets Jack, a laconic, immensely capable tenant farmer on the Hoover land. He is 40; she is 20. Both lonely and vulnerable, they regard each other cautiously, carry on a wary courtship and embark on a firmly grounded marriage. The union is enriched by a small, supportive circle of friends, who, like the couple's landlord, Burr, are sharply etched and convincingly drawn. Gibbons, author of the critically praised Ellen Foster , has written a vivid, unsentimental, powerful novel. Literary Guild and Double day Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a good book, written in the words of a simple man in simple to understand language. A good read.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A quick read with some really great passages, but on the whole not something I would want to read again.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very well written and moving.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A multi-layered and convincing depiction of two seemingly mis-matched people who find each other and marry.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A love story of an unusual marriage. Sweet, but sad, characters.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An Oprah book club book by the author of Ellen Foster. A Virtous Woman has wonderful characters, who are very well written. A quote from the back of the book: "THey didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life."
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 161 more book reviews
This book is an Oprah's Book Club selection. It's not the worst book that I've ever read; it's not the best book. It's just OK. It is about Blinking Jack Stokes and his wife Ruby Pitts Woodrow Stokes and each chapter alternates between the two of them (though it's not delineated anywhere so it does get a bit confusing if you put the book down, pick it up later and you think you are reading it from his perspective, but it's really from her point of view). Ruby was 20 years old and newly a widow when they met, and he was a 40 year old tenant farmer. The story isn't really told in a linear fashion (but that didn't bother me much). I found many of the side characters interesting, particularly Tiny Fran, she made me want to smack her with something heavy, lol! It is a very quick read; I started it last night (Dec. 30) and finished it this morning (Dec. 31). If I didn't have to go to sleep or take care of laundry and things in the meantime, I probably could have read this in less than 3 uninterrupted hours. It's a good book to pass the time with, but nothing extraordinary.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 205 more book reviews
very good
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on
A quick but very enjoyable read with a bittersweet ending.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 11 more book reviews
Complex, compact...one thinks of a Lillian Hellman play...The architecture of this novel is remarkable. New York Times Book Review
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 14 more book reviews
Well written inside a life AND DEATH
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 69 more book reviews
Not as good as Ellen Foster, but if you like realistic, harsh fiction where beauty is mixed with ugliness, you'll really enjoy this. Gibbons is amazing and creating characters that feel like they had a long history before she began writing. She's also a master at writing Southern dialect.

A true love story with no wooing and courting, but where two people face reality and know they other can help them get through this world.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on
This was pretty good!
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 243 more book reviews
A haunting story about love and compassion between two people who meet and need each other
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 69 more book reviews
A haunting book about where life's choices can lead you.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 29 more book reviews
I am only giving this a 6 because I don't remember the book very well. I read it too many books ago.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 55 more book reviews
I have yet to be disappointed by an Oprah's Book Club selection - this book was no exception.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 15 more book reviews
A short, bittersweet story...
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 59 more book reviews
Good book. Sweet story.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 37 more book reviews
A great quick read from Kaye
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 18 more book reviews
Fast read and ties in with Ellen Foster.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 44 more book reviews
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disasterous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 6 more book reviews
Another wonderful book by Kaye Gibbons
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 30 more book reviews
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.

This author, Kay Gibbons, also wrote "Ellen Foster."
Oprah's Book Club book
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 279 more book reviews
Great book
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 22 more book reviews
One of Oprah's book club selections, nice book.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 96 more book reviews
Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997: Gibbons's novel, A Virtuous Woman, takes place in the same hardscrabble part of the world as Ellen Foster. The virtuous woman is Ruby Pitt Woodrow, a woman who might have ended up like Ellen Foster's mother if fate, in the shape of Jack Stokes, hadn't crossed her path. The daughter of prosperous farmers, Ruby runs off with a migrant worker who treats her badly, then abandons her far from home. When she meets Jack, a man 20 years her senior, she's working as a cleaning woman in another prosperous farmer's house. Jack is a man women don't look at even once, let alone twice; Ruby is a woman who needs someone to take care of her. Out of this unlikely union grows a quiet kind of love that is no less powerful for being unstated.
Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman share more than just location and a few characters in common. Though each is a complete novel in and of itself, taken together the two books resonate one another: Ellen Foster and Ruby Pitt Woodrow are both damaged people who find the kind of love they need to heal. These multilayered novels are tough-minded and resolutely unsentimental, just like their protagonists. Yet like Ellen and Ruby, each contains a nut of sweetness at its core that takes the bitter edge off the hard lives and hard stories Kaye Gibbons has to tell.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 15 more book reviews
An Oprah's Book Club Book
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 237 more book reviews
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 157 more book reviews
I read this book several years ago and honestly, I don't remember much about it. It wasn't terrible or I wouldn't have finished. It wasn't great either, since I can't remember it.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 9 more book reviews
An Oprah's Book Club edition.
reviewed A Virtuous Woman on + 60 more book reviews
Cover has a crease across the front. Few marks, one on first page. Otherwise pages are good to read.