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March 2012

Three for Three!

Booklist likes it too! Feeling super grateful this week.

Saving Ruth
Fishman, Zoe (Author)
May 2012. 304 p. Morrow, paperback,  $14.99. (9780062059840)

Home from college for the summer with her Jewish family in small-town Alabama, Ruth Wasserman gets a job with her older brother, David, coaching and lifeguarding small kids at the local pool. She is happy to have lost excess weight, a lot of it. Everyone says she is too skinny, but she obsesses: Is it enough? And what is going on with soccer-star David: Why is he so distant? This could be a YA novel, but adult readers, especially parents, will also be caught up in Ruth’s wry personal narrative about friends, boyfriends, prejudice, self-image, and especially family secrets. Ruth saves a little black girl from drowning in the pool, but why did David miss it? Will the child’s family sue for damages? Ruth covers up for David, until, finally, the star brother reveals his failures. Never heavy-handed, the dialogue is right on, and so are Ruth’s hidden battles with her eating disorder.
 
— Hazel Rochman


Reviews are in!

Happy Monday, indeed! Two great reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

20 bucks if you know what "bildungsroman" is without looking it up:

PW

And Library Journal calls Ruth "appealing to both mothers and college-age daughters"! Very grateful for the crossover stamp of approval.

After going off to college as a slightly overweight young Jewish woman from the South who lived in the shadow of a golden older brother, Ruth Wasserman returns for summer break anorexic and uncertain. Puzzled by her brother’s emotional distance and frustrated by her anxious parents, she is happiest at the local pool coaching young swimmers and lifeguarding. Oddly enough, even that respite is shattered when Ruth, rather than her brother, saves a young girl from drowning. Instead of being a hero, she becomes the holder of secrets and the potential target of a lawsuit. And to top it all off, Ruth is falling for her brother’s best friend. She could crumble under the tension of competing loyalties, but she’s made of sterner stuff and capable of loving her family enough to see them through a crisis or two. VERDICT Ruth is a likable character facing realistic trials, and her story will appeal to both mothers and college-age daughters. Author interview and book club questions are added bonuses; Fishman is also the author of Balancing Acts.—Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll. Lib., NC