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Brunch with Books: Drowning Ruth

Brunch with Books

Come join us and bring along your book of the month, your opinions and your appetite to engage in a relaxing and lively book discussion with fellow bibliophiles. Each meeting ends with a tasty brunch to compliment the theme of the book!

Join us on Saturday, January 26th at 10:30 AM for a discussion of this month's book club selection, Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz. The book will be available in regular print, large print, and audiobook for check-out at the front desk. Stop in and pick up your copy, and join us for January's book club. Please call if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

Christina Schwarz's suspenseful debut pivots on two of the lost "virtues" of the past: silence and stoicism. Drowning Ruth opens in 1919, on the heels of the influenza epidemic that followed the First World War. Although there were telephones and motor cars and dance halls in the small towns of Wisconsin in those years, the townspeople remained rigid and forbidding. As a young woman, Amanda Starkey, a Lutheran farmer's daughter, had been firmly discouraged from an inappropriate marriage with a neighboring Catholic boy. A few years later, as a nurse in Milwaukee, she is seduced by a dishonorable man. Her shame sends her into a nervous breakdown, and she returns to the family farm. Within a year, though, her beloved sister Mathilde drowns under mysterious circumstances. And when Mathilde's husband, Carl, returns from the war, he finds his small daughter, Ruth, in Amanda's tenacious grip, and she will tell him nothing about the night his wife drowned. Amanda's parents, too, are long gone. "I killed my parents. Had I mentioned that?" muses Amanda.

“I killed them because I felt a little fatigued and suffered from a slight, persistent cough. Thinking I was overworked and hadn't been getting enough sleep, I went home for a short visit, just a few days to relax in the country while the sweet corn and the raspberries were ripe. From the city I brought fancy ribbon, two boxes of Ambrosia chocolate, and a deadly gift... I gave the influenza to my mother, who gave it to my father, or maybe it was the other way around."