Book Review of The Book of Ruth

The Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth
Author: Jane Hamilton
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
Helpful Score: 5


I worked in a group home for mentally retarded men while I attended college. There is (was) a very large mental institution in my hometown that had mainstreamed most of it's almost 15,000 residents (in it's hey day) back in to the community. There were multiple group homes for men and women and I often supervised parties and dates for the clients. This book brought all of this back to me. Ruth and Ruby are both fairly high functioning retarded people. This relationship got out of hand mainly from May's iron-fisted way of dealing with her daughter and her constant comparison of her with her genius son Matt. There were parts of their relationship that I thought were beautiful, but most of it was like the beauty of the vibrant patterns on a rattlesnake's back; beautiful but dangerous. This book brought all the sadness back to me that I felt watching people with little or no control of their life attempt to have a relationship.
This was certainly a worthwhile book to read and I would recommend it to anyone.