5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
With Kathy Bates, it could be a terrific film.,
This review is from: Drowning Ruth (Paperback)
With its vivid depiction of its post-World War I setting in Wisconsin, its nightmarish complexities as a family saga, its carefully developed suspense, and its simplicity of theme, Drowning Ruth has "blockbuster movie" written all over it.
These statements are not negatives, however. Drowning Ruth is a very good read!
The author is precise and careful about building her suspense with excruciating slowness. She has created intriguing characters--at heart, not all that different from you and me--characters who are confronted with difficult problems to solve, some of which are not of their own making and some of which are the unexpected results of desperate decisions made in the long ago past. Her alternations of point of view help to give breadth and depth to the conflicts within the main characters, while the fragmentary memories which Ruth contributes add to both the mystery and the sense of dread.
Although Schwarz ably illustrates the restricted roles into which women had to adapt themselves during the period, the mores which applied to "good girls," and the limited choices open to them, the lack of liberation is so natural a part of her story that her novel and its complications are by no means part of a liberation manifesto. Drowning Ruth is a simple story presented clearly and suspensefully by an author who, like Amanda, is careful to keep her grasp completely within her reach. Mary Whipple