When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life. In A Virtuous Woman, Kaye Gibbons transcends her early promise, creating a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.
I was disappointed. While I realize it is difficult to follow one superb book with another, this one fell flat, was choppy, was boring and I'm very glad I read Ellen Foster first or I would not have continued to read more.
Ruby Trip is privileged by southern, small-town farm standards. She has loving parents who dote on her and who can afford food on the table and a roof over their head.
Ruby was pampered to the detrimental extent that when unsupervised she makes very poor choices, including running away to marry a near-do-well migrant worker.
Jack Stokes is a tenant farmer, poor in worldly goods, rich in a loving spirit and gentleness toward ruby. Rescuing Ruby from poverty when her abusive husband dies, Jack shows Ruby respect, patience and a life of kind understanding.
This is the story of Ruby and Jack as they grow to love each other.
A story is one of a loving untraditional relationship, with one chapter told by Ruby and another by Jack. Unlike [Ellen Foster], the ending of [a Virtuous Woman] is confusing and it feels as though it was hurriedly thrown together.
The book is written in first person narration with both Jack and Ruby narrating alternate chapters (except the last chapter which is written in the third person). This technique helps make both characters seem real. For me, personally, Jack was the character I most cared about, mostly because we know from the very beginning that Ruby dies and we see that Jack is lost without her.
This is one of those simple, quiet kind of books where there is little action or plot, just the story of two people who come to love and care for each other. Yet, it's the kind of story that will stay with you long after you've read it.
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was 20 and he was 40. She was the daughter of Carolina gentry. He was a skinny tena nt farmer who had never owned anything in his life. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each ot her and held on for dear life.
I do not like the summary above, so I went to GoodReads to see what they had. Sadly, they had the same, but with this added:
In A Virtuous Woman, Gibbons transcends her early promise, creating a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.
This book is a very, very sweet telling of a lifetime of love between a husband and wife. Told in alternating viewpoints of the husband, then the wife, you get a complete picture of their past, their meeting, courtship and years together. Ruby dies from lung cancer, and the story continues with how her passing changes Jack's life.
To say that these two "held on for dear life" is so dramatic and untrue. They found one another and settled into what the other needed. I saw them more as two halves of one whole as opposed to two people spinning through life like a combined tornado. Their love was slow, steady and constant. Just what you want it to be.