Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: Saving Ruth

I received this book as part of a TLC Book TourSaving Ruth, by Zoe Fishman, definitely falls under the category of a "coming-of-age" story.  As the book opens, the main character, Ruth, has just returned home to Alabama for the summer after her freshman year of college in Michigan. So much has changed since she left home for college - most notably, she has developed an eating disorder. While she should be focused on saving herself, much of her attention is drawn to her brother, who seems listless and withdrawn, and the dynamics of her empty-nest parents.

It was pretty difficult to read her inner dialogue with herself over her struggles with food. Luckily, I don't personally know what it is like to struggle with an eating disorder, but I thought the author did a great job of showing what it is like to go through something like that. The author herself had struggled with an eating disorder in college, so her personal experience lent an air of authenticity to that aspect of the book.

Over all it was a fast, enjoyable read, and I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. It made me think about my college years. I never did return to my parents home after I left for college as I opted to stay in the city where my University was located so I could take summer classes and work.  I love my parents and the home they created for me, but I do not love my small town roots, so I am glad I did not have to return to the town they lived in. I think I would have struggled even more than Ruth did - albeit for different reasons. I did spend one summer at my parents' lake cabin, though, after studying abroad in Australia and that was definitely a VERY difficult summer as I was dealing with a bit of reverse culture shock and the post-study abroad blues - which seem to be pretty common, at least among the people I've talked to.

Did you move home for any summers during college? Did you have trouble acclimating back to life in your home town?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.  I was not compensated for this review, and the opinions are my own.   

10 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Oh man, I don't think I could read this book because I very very much remember how hard it was to return home after the first year of college. Thankfully I did not have any eating problems and I really liked high school and liked seeing my friends, but it was this weird balance between wanting things to be the same and wanting things to be different, sigh- don't want to go back there!

It's interesting I don't think we have ever talked about the post study abroad blues but I DEFINITELY had them. I think I was okay when I was at home but then I went back to school and it was really, really hard. To make matters worse I was not 21 and most of my friends were and they were super strict near me so I couldn't even do much of the fun things my friends were doing. I met Eric right around this time though and things picked up from there :) It was still my least favorite semester of college though. A lot of my close friends did not study abroad, except for the guys (who do not discuss these things and probably don't even care haha) so I didn't really know anyone who fully understood at the time.

I'm happy to leave all those times in the past :)

missris said...

I moved home for one summer (from a big city to my small, stifling hometown) and it was ROUGH. After that I pretty much insisted on staying in my college town and never went back. Love my parents, hate the town.

Marlys said...

I totally understand about not wanting to come home because of the "small town" atmosphere, so don't feel bad in stating that! It wasn't my choice of places to live but I decided to "bloom where I was planted" and it has worked out for me,thank goodness!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I moved back to my hometown between first and second year and second and third year of college. But I actually lived with Eric both times and didn't live with my parents and I just worked like crazy to save money! I don't remember being "blue" about moving home, all I really remember about those summers is working, working, working!

Alli said...

I don't remember, but I think I spent at least part of every summer at home. I hated high school and needed very much to get away from a group of friends who treated me pretty badly and all that, but luckily I come from a big town where it's rare to run in to anyone so I was able to just enjoy time with my parents. If I'd had the same experience growing up in a small town where everyone knows everyone and I'm certain to run in to people I don't think I would've ever gone back for a summer.

pinkflipflops said...

I most definitely preferred the summers that I stayed in my apartments! ;)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I lived at home during college. Most people around here do :-)

Abby said...

I think I will add this to my "to read" list. Sounds really interesting. Currently I'm reading "The Alchemist's Daughter" -- and am loving it. Have you read that one?

I never lived at home after going to college. My 1st summer I went to MNPLS, and then the following summer was when I moved to Tucson. Weird -- feels like that time in my life when we lived in GF was ages ago!!

I bet coming home after an abroad summer would be super depressing. No more traveling, no more huge adventures -- culture shock!!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I moved home for two months after college, but only to prepare for my wedding. After that I was out on my own, marriage at 20, clueless about the realities of the world. Luckily for me things all worked out and I'm still happily married 14 years later. But boy, those two months at home were DIFFICULT!

Thank for taking the time to read and review this book for the tour!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I never moved back home after college, but, like you, lived in a smaller town, so going back even for a weekend was (and still is) a bit strange. It's as if time stands still there, and I keep changing. I still have friends there and they are doing the same old, same old. Not that I think that's bad, but it's not for me.