The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton

By Jane Hamilton

"An American good looks this book... The narrator of Jane Hamilton's sensational first novel is a holy lusty innocent."Vogue

"Ms. Hamilton offers Ruth a humble dignity and permits her wish —but it's now not a heavenly wish. It's a standard one, caked with dust and held with gritted the teeth. And it's most likely the single type that's worthy studying about."[i] —[i]New York Times ebook review

"Hamilton's tale builds to a surprising crescendo. Her small-town characters are as appealingly offbeat and brushed with grace as any present in Alice Hoffman's or Anne Tyler's novels."Glamour

"Jane Hamilton's novel is authentically Dickensian... the genuine fulfillment of this primary novel isn't really rather a lot the blackness because the recommendation of resilience. on the finish, Ruth starts off to place jointly her shattered physique, spirit and existence. Her phrases are awkward, as they've been all alongside, yet without notice and without notice they shine." —[i]Los Angeles Times

Winner of the 1989 PEN/Hemingway beginning Award for most sensible first novel, this beautiful publication confronts real-life problems with alienation and violence from which the writer creates a gorgeous testomony to the human potential for mercy, compassion and love.

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Sample text

You filthy beggar, get out of here, don't touch me, if you lay a finger on me I'll cane you to death . . and he'd go back to the window with the broken panes, stark . naked. The old women and the nuns didn't dare cross the court with the orange trees anymore. We decided that the best thing was to board up the shutters of his cell. But he always managed to break them down. Until one night, as Don Clemente slept, I walled up his window with bricks and cement, the first window I walled up in the Casa.

It was witch­ craft, black magic, and that's why the peasants were being crushed under the weight of endless misfortunes. Over the bone­ dry plains, where the animals swollen with thirst were dying off, the head of the landowner's daughter, flapping huge sinewy ears that were like bat wings, would fly after the yellow bitch dog­ it was warty and scrawny like the girl's nursemaid-that guided the chonch6n to a place indicated by the rays of their accom­ plice, the moon, on the other side of the hills.

I'm the seventh old woman. I'll take it upon myself to watch over the Azcoitia about to be born. Iris's - 50 vomit, which I washed from the kitchen tiles, anointed me. I keep it wrapped in a floor rag, with my books and my manu­ scripts, under the bed, where all old women keep their things. THE FIRST TffiNG I had to do was win them over. If I didn't find a way to dazzle them, I'd be accepted by them in name only, even though I'd groveled for them. I let a few days go by while I laid my plans, letting them go on barely talking to me and watching me on the sly.

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