I wasnt sure about this book at first There were a few graphic parts in the beginning that I didnt like After that, it got really good An interesting story about a women who goes through ALOT in her life Just when you think things cant get any worse for her, they do This book shows her struggles and determination, which I really like I like a book about a strong, independent, never give up , kind of girl I enjoyed this book Thanks Goodreads, for choosing me as a winner of this book Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.I have to admit, when I started out reading this book, I wasn t particularly looking forward to it I d just finished a load of sci fi and fantasy and was very much in the mood for some , and the blurb of this made me think it was going to be very depressing.Whilst Ruth has a hard life sometimes her misfortune just seems a little over the top the book is not necessarily a depressing read I actually really enjoyed it, the writing style was good and the story well developed, with some dark twists mixed in There was perhaps a little too much foreshadowing in some areas, which made it far too easy to guess what was going to happen, and the blurb gave away too much of the plot in my opinion, but apart from that it was a very good read Ruth is a strong character, who could have easily been beaten down by the hardships she faces through her life, view spoiler and I m glad that she eventually gets a happy ending hide spoiler From The Lush Owen Stanley Ranges Of Papua New Guinea To Working Class Inner Sydney Ruth Follows The Story Of Its Protagonist, The Only Daughter Of John And Alice Madison, Coffee Plantation Owners Set In The Fifties And Sixties, Ruth Struggles To Rise Above The Stigma Of Being An Unwed Mother Alone In A Strange Land Determined Not To End Up On The Streets, She Learns To Live By Her Wits Until Circumstances Take A Turn For The Worse To Provide A Better Life For Her Son, Stewart, She Takes Up Work In A Distant Town There, She Meets Lachlan McGrath, The Owner Of Bryliambone Station Life On The Land Is Good To Ruth Until Fate Turns Her World Upside Down Faced With Losing Everything, She Sets To Rebuilding Her Husband S Debt Ridden Business Into A Thriving Cotton Farm Marlene Is Inspired By Many Authors, Including Patricia Shaw, Maeve Binchy And Guy De Maupassant Ruth Has Elements Of Lloyd Jones Mr Pip, Ruth Park S The Harp In The South And Patricia Shaw S The Feather And The Stone The Novel Will Appeal To Female Readers Interested In Family Relationships And Cultural History Review here 7 Full review coming soon I just finished this Couldn t put it down It s a combination of family saga and historical fiction with the same feeling that I got from the Poisonwood Bible Wow We are the product of our times The book in one sentence Ruth faces trial and tribulation while discovering the truth about herself and her family in Papua New Guinea.My thoughts This is inspiring, is historical, and it hits home Ruth by Marlene S Lewis is a story is about an Australian woman who grew up in Papua New Guinea in the 1950 60s It is a life story of hardship and struggle steeped in an era of stormy civil rights clashes and colonialism.Ruth is the only daughter of coffee plantation owners John and Alice Madison Coming home to the Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea after a term in boarding school, she puzzles over why everyone is acting so strange Until she witnesses her mother thus Looks like the rain s going to set in, Bert said, as they glanced out through the trellis to watch the heavy downpour bucketing over the outbuildings Oh my goodness, who on earth is that Myrtle said as her hand swept to her mouth Oh heavens above, it s a white woman with no clo Everyone stared in horror There was Alice, sitting on an oil drum in the pouring rain.And with that dramatic ending on page 32, Marlene Lewis had me up until 2 00 am The whole book is about Ruth from young woman to adulthood We follow her from one calamity to another innocent young girl, pregnant young woman forced to deal with hardships way beyond her years, settling down, and finally reinventing herself I thought that the story would end there but no, there is Believe me, what this woman went through is nothing to scoff at.Ruth is a tough woman, reminiscent of the pioneer women, and anything life throws at her, she deals with and moves on But she doesn t escape unscathed, and she retains an emotional vulnerability that I am sure many people can relate to In the midst of all these trials, Ruth relies heavily on her family and her friendships Marlene Lewis does a wonderful job of keeping Ruth and her reletionships both believable and inspiring.What I found most fascinating about this book it is based on the history of Papua New Guinea, a country that has a colonial past under the Dutch, the British, and the Australians during which this story is set in, in the 1950s 60s This makes for the rich, and rather explosive dynamics between the locals and the colonizers There is the master servant attitude with abuse commonplace, accepted, and even taken for the norm an unspoken segregation and discrimination a taboo of relationships between these two groups and lastly the conflicting views of either resignedness to or challenging the status quo Sidenote I grew up in the Philippines which also has a strong colonial past and the similarities resonate with me Ruth s naive picture of her idyllic life in Papua New Guinea is painfully shattered Without giving out too much information and spoiling things for you the milieu plays such a critical role in these truths it permeates these truths She finds out why her mother was acting so strangely that day, the events that led to her father s suspicious death, the reasons for her brother s longstanding hostility, and the true identity of her beloved childhood sweetheart I was in probably in shock mode for the most part, as I was learning history in a much realistic way through these characters lives First line Friday 14th December 1956 had arrived at last.Random quote You know, Ruthy, Christmas can be one of the saddest times as you get older We lose people along the way of life, people who have been special to us then Christmas comes and they aren t with us, and it s like losing them all over again p 237Verdict This is an engrossing read which gives plenty of food for thought about womanhood, family relationships and friendships, and the cultures which shapes us into the people we become and the the lives we live I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I won my copy of this book through GoodReads First Reads Giveaways, in exchange for an honest review So here goesI had a really good feeling about this book from the title, cover and blurb on the back When I started reading I was a bit worried it might not live up to it s potential At the beginning the book didn t seem to flow right to me But before I knew it I was fully engrossed in the tragedy and journey of the story I think the author got better and confident at the book went on and I must say I did rather enjoy reading the book I guessed Ruth s father s secret pretty early on But there were plenty of plot surprises along the way to keep me reading on I felt all loose ends were tied up in a satisfactory way I would like to read from this author. I read pretty much all of this book in a night, some of that was due to insomnia but a lot of it was because it s a very well written and enjoyable book Although I am very glad that I am not friends with Ruth, because in the main, it s a good way to get yourself killed, arrested or into a plane crash.Marlene S Lewis story is deep, frequently heart wrenching and full of characters that you can empathise with or despise It s these characters that drive the story so forcefully onwards and ensures that you don t end up feeling thoroughly depressed by all the events that happen to Ruth over the years.Bad point My bugbear so much of the plot is summarised on the back cover Ruth s return to Papua comes less than 100 pages from the end of the book There are so many twists and shocking events in this book, it was a shame that so many of them were foreshadowed before I even got to them.I don t really know how this book ends up being life affirming, but it does it s survival against all the odds and bouncing back from whatever is thrown at you I really enjoyed it.I am obliged to inform you that I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads scheme and would like to thank Marlene S Lewis for the opportunity to read her novel. How exciting I ve won a copy of this book Will read it and review as soon as it arrives Thank you so much I can do nothing other than give this wonderful new book 5 stars It twisted and turned constantly and I wondered just how much poor Ruth could endure If you enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns , you ll enjoy this Being a gullible reader, the twisting plot often surprised me which made it all the enjoyable If this is the caliber of the Goodreads Giveaways, I can t wait to read thank you for the opportunity of reading this fantastic novel. I received this book as an Advanced Readers Copy I was a little confused at first because I wasn t sure what exactly was going on But it only took me a few pages to become engrossed in the story I grew up in the same time period so I could relate to a lot of what Ruth was going through But then Australia and South Wales and the surrounding areas are different from anything I know about There were so many ups and downs for the main character, just like life.I really enjoyed the book and was disappointed when it was over Upon receiving this novel this morning and by observing the blurb i am apsolutely facinated intregued by it, hence i cannot wait to start reading It appears to be a novel that it society family driven that ecompases some of the hardships that i encountered in The Help as it is set during a very difficult time of civil rights women s movements during the 1950 s After reading this novel i was completely mesmirised and overwhelmed by Marlene Lewis style writing which was apsolutely breathtaking It was a compelling and gripping story that i fell in love with immediately and a book that i am now most certain to read again It was character driven with specific characters that were distinctive and which as a reader you could realy empathise with a relate to easily, especially Ruth the main character It is a heartwarming and emotional journey that is thought provoking deeply authentic to the core i was in tears in places It was a storyline that i got lost in and i enjoyed the journey of discovery, being taken on Ruth s adventure and travelling at her side Family focused and full of mother son relationship, that makes this story s emphasis and central focus point on friendship, family and love It is something that anyone can easily relate to and connect with, as in my case with the main character and is really thoughtful, meaningful truth drawing It is set during a time of civilian rights and women speaking out and this is certainly a book that wants to speak out and project a message, one of hope, determaination perseverance and being able to look beyond the horizon I admire Marlene S Lewis so much for her tale that tells it how it is and the ups downs of life in perfect clarity that is very truthful and realistic of the times, as it covers all aspects such as poverty, social hierachy status within community, prostitution farming This book was full of suspence and mystery and one that did not fail to shock or suprise me throughout, as well as being utterly facinating interesting For those who like a book to get lost within, for those who enjoy reading fiction that is based around fact and for those readers who enjoy novels such as The Help then i suggest that you read Ruth by Marlene S Lewis because it will completely suprise you. This story is set between the lush coffee plantations of Papua New Guinea and the outback of New South Wales It commences in the 1950s and covers the period leading up to independence for Papua New Guinea However, it only touches tantalisingly on the changing relationship between the native population and their Australian Masters Where this is covered it is very interesting and arguably would make for a better novel if there was of this content.However the book, as the title suggests, is really Ruth s story It charts her brief liaison with a native which leads to the birth of her son, Stewart, and then on to the many trials and tribulations of her life She loses her home and her security so many times that the reader almost runs out of patience with her fate by the end However, whatever fate seems to throw at her, Ruth seems to be than its match.The occasional, almost asides, of the prejudices she faces with a half caste child, as Stewart is referred to in the novel, are key to the time this novel is set in However, they make all too brief appearances in the main story line sadly.The end of the novel does provide a well thought out twist in the tale as Ruth makes a brief return to her childhood home Overall, I thought this was an interesting book, but to me the really absorbing parts concerned the prejudices of the day and the atmosphere in the run up to independence Unfortunately whenever these were touched upon the novel seemed to move on to other affairs fairly swiftly.
Born in the 1950s in east Kent, England, Marlene emigrated to Australia in the 1960s Apart from spending many years living in and around Sydney she has also lived in rural New South Wales and Queensland Marlene has worked in managerial roles within the community sector and is a trained psychotherapist with qualifications in liberal arts, and counselling psychology Marlene has travelled extensiv
- 337 pages
- Marlene S. Lewis
- 28 September 2017 Marlene S. Lewis