Regarding Ruth by Kim Scott
Regarding Ruth was an intriguing story that held my attention for almost the entire book. I spent the last few chapters almost painfully waiting for Ruth to gain some redemption – for there to be some reason, some mistake, some repentance, but that was not to be. The manner in which Ruth had almost an obsession with killing babies and little children and her inability to love someone who loved her made me feel a bit sick, but it was written in such a way that you keep hoping that somehow Ruth will be redeemed from her shadows – that there is something good there.
The story starts with Ruth being hung and you are led to believe she is innocent – until slowly and almost painfully the truth comes out. She is in love with Teague, a young man who comes to town with his family. By a cruel turn of events Ruth is sent away to have a baby she does not want. Returning without the baby and somehow changed and damaged inside, Ruth is not the girl she once was. Life continues, but not in the way she envisioned – Teague has already married someone else and the dreams that Ruth hung so tightly onto are all out of reach. There is some love, but also betrayal, family drama, heart-break, death, desire and many other emotions that lend to the rich complexity of the storyline. The characters are skillfully written and well-developed. The storyline is consistent and follows the time and practices of those days very well.
I cannot say I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but it was a different type of story that stays with you long after the last page is turned.
Three stars ***