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Customer reviews & ratings

Average Rating:(3.7)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Excellent book where t...
Excellent book where the story is told from both points of view. Ruby's story is of her past. Jack's is both present and past. Sometimes you get the story from both points. Other times, it is only one view. I got into the story and could not put it down. I felt the pain of both Ruby and Jack. I cried I was so into their lives. It was hard to let go. Well done! A keeper.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
After reading Ellen Fo...
After reading Ellen Foster, I thought I simply had to read more by this author. I made a special trip to the library to obtain another. 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.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Excellent book where t...
Excellent book where the story is told from both points of view. Ruby's story is of her past. Jack's is both present and past. Sometimes you get the story from both points. Other times, it is only one view. I got into the story and could not put it down. I felt the pain of both Ruby and Jack. I cried I was so into their lives. It was hard to let go. Well done! A keeper.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
After reading Ellen Fo...
After reading Ellen Foster, I thought I simply had to read more by this author. I made a special trip to the library to obtain another. 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.
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 a
23 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Excellent book where t...

Excellent book where the story is told from both points of view. Ruby's story is of her past. Jack's is both present and past. Sometimes you get the story from both points. Other times, it is only one view. I got into the story and could not put it down. I felt the pain of both Ruby and Jack. I cried I was so into their lives. It was hard to let go. Well done! A keeper.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This book was hard to ...

This book was hard to get into at first, but I found it to be much easier to read than Ellen Foster. It is a story of untraditional but true love. It makes you realize that although your marriage may not seem like a fairy tale at all times, in hindsight it may be all that and more. The story of a couple who found each other in need of love and kindness at the same time in their lives, despite a large age difference and contrasting pasts. Sad, you will cry at the end, but definitely worth reading...especially if you want to be reminded to be thankful for the small things in life.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This book was a total ...

This book was a total universe offering, in a "FREE BOOKS" box at work that also brought me The Kite Runner and several others that I haven't read yet. I opened it during SSR at school because it looked thin and easy to half-concentrate on while keeping an eye on students and (pretending that I am) marking participation points while modeling reading. I was drawn into the voices and the non-traditional chronology. The story itself was supremely quiet--to the point of being dull, honestly--but there was some nice emotion in the spare prose that alternated between the voices of Blinking Jack and his dead wife Ruby. But the ending was just plain odd; suddenly there were all these italics, all these minor characters suddenly spewing their thoughts all over...this scene that was supposed to feel tragic and climactic and in the end just...didn't work for me. Until then, I was willing to hang out with these understated characters, just listening to their little story in plain, simple words and cozy dialogue, with a little humor thrown in, but the emotion of that last scene just didn't resonate for me. I will pass this one on to Mom without asking her to give it back.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Kaye Gibbons did a gre...

Kaye Gibbons did a great job of giving voice to her characters. The book opens with Jack, speaking directly to the reader, explaining that his wife died four months ago. He's found himself finished eating the food, Ruby, his wife, cooked and froze for him before she died. This simple explanation, opens wide, the reader's understanding of just how tightly intertwined these two souls had been. The book continues in a series of flashbacks. Ruby, before her death, narrates the chapters of her life and Jack filling in the missing pieces. A touching, but not sappy story of a pure and true love.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

This book was a total ...

This book was a total universe offering, in a "FREE BOOKS" box at work that also brought me The Kite Runner and several others that I haven't read yet. I opened it during SSR at school because it looked thin and easy to half-concentrate on while keeping an eye on students and (pretending that I am) marking participation points while modeling reading. I was drawn into the voices and the non-traditional chronology. The story itself was supremely quiet--to the point of being dull, honestly--but there was some nice emotion in the spare prose that alternated between the voices of Blinking Jack and his dead wife Ruby. But the ending was just plain odd; suddenly there were all these italics, all these minor characters suddenly spewing their thoughts all over...this scene that was supposed to feel tragic and climactic and in the end just...didn't work for me. Until then, I was willing to hang out with these understated characters, just listening to their little story in plain, simple words and cozy dialogue, with a little humor thrown in, but the emotion of that last scene just didn't resonate for me. I will pass this one on to Mom without asking her to give it back.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Summary:When Blinking ...

Summary: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. Recommended

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

So far, this book is a...

So far, this book is an engaging and emotional portrayal of the happy marriage between Ruby Pitt, a pampered daughter from a well-to-do farming family who made a bad decision to get married to a migrant worker, and Blinking Jack Stokes, a tenant farmer who rescues Ruby after her former husband is killed, leaving her alone with no property or children of her own. Both Jack and Ruby alternately narrate the story, even though in the beginning we learn that Ruby is in the hospital dying from lung cancer. Overall, the story if very heartwarming and easy to read.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

So far, this book is a...

So far, this book is an engaging and emotional portrayal of the happy marriage between Ruby Pitt, a pampered daughter from a well-to-do farming family who made a bad decision to get married to a migrant worker, and Blinking Jack Stokes, a tenant farmer who rescues Ruby after her former husband is killed, leaving her alone with no property or children of her own. Both Jack and Ruby alternately narrate the story, even though in the beginning we learn that Ruby is in the hospital dying from lung cancer. Overall, the story if very heartwarming and easy to read.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

This is a love story, ...

This is a love story, not at all sentimental, simply told. It's mostly written in the Southern speech cadences of its two protagonists, Jack and Ruby, and this succeeds in bringing the characters to life. However, it goes back and forth between Jack's point of view and Ruby's, and Jack's chapters are set after Ruby has died; this structure makes it feel a little disjointed at times.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

After reading Ellen Fo...

After reading Ellen Foster, I thought I simply had to read more by this author. I made a special trip to the library to obtain another. 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.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

I read Ellen Foster an...

I read Ellen Foster and I liked that book. This story carrys the same simplicity. It's short but the characters are memorable and make you want to keep reading. Books don't always have to have complex story lines to keep a readers interest. I would recommend this book and I look forward to reading more by Kaye Gibbons

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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Beautifully written, A...

Beautifully written, A Virtuous Women, is the quiet love story of Ruby Pitt Woodrow, daughter of a rich farmer, and Jack Stokes, a tenant farmer. At first they seem an unlikely match, Ruby, although 20 years younger than Jack, is already widowed, Jack, unattractive and unsuccessful, has never been married. But both have had tough lives. Ruby is alienated from her parents due to her brief marriage which was a disaster. She is working as a maid when she meets Jack. Jack has never had much, although his dream is to own a piece of land. Together they find, if not what they were looking for, a sense of completeness. 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.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

The virtuous woman is ...

The virtuous woman is Ruby Pitt Woodrow, a woman who might have ended up like Ellen Foster's mother if fate, in the shape of Jack Stokes, hadn't crossed her path. The daughter of prosperous farmers, Ruby runs off with a migrant worker who treats her badly, then abandons her far from home. When she meets Jack, a man 20 years her senior, she's working as a cleaning woman in another prosperous farmer's house. Jack is a man women don't look at even once, let alone twice; Ruby is a woman who needs someone to take care of her. Out of this unlikely union grows a quiet kind of love that is no less powerful for being unstated.

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

Gibbonss novel, a nov...

Gibbons's novel, a novella, really, is the story of a southern woman's relationships and the profound effect she has on those close to her. Born to a privileged family, Ruby Pitt enters first a disastrous, then a profoundly loving marriage. Though these relationships move her squarely into the working class, we see that love triumphs over class, status, and lineage. Told in alternating chapters by Ruby and her husband, Jack, at the time surrounding her early death from cancer, the book relates the history of Ruby and Jack's relationship. This is not a plot-driven, so much as an emotion-driven book. A beautiful, quick read, I couldn't help but feel deeply for Ruby, and especially for Jack.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

This is a love story, ...

This is a love story, not at all sentimental, simply told. It's mostly written in the Southern speech cadences of its two protagonists, Jack and Ruby, and this succeeds in bringing the characters to life. However, it goes back and forth between Jack's point of view and Ruby's, and Jack's chapters are set after Ruby has died; this structure makes it feel a little disjointed at times.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

In the beginning chapt...

In the beginning chapter we read that Jack is eating frozen meals that Ruby had prepared for him before he died so we know right away that Ruby dies; the end is a little anti-climatic. The chapters also go back and forth in time and are written from either Jack's perspective or Ruby's perspective. Not a very smooth read.

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Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Darlene recommended th...

Darlene recommended this because she liked the narrative voices & the relationship between the two main characters. It's set in the rural South with alternating voices between a tenant farmer a couple of months after the death of his wife, 20 years his junior, & her voice a couple of months before her death. They are indeed unique voices with an interesting and appealing relationship, but I didn't find the overall effect as appealing as she did.

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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Couldnt put it down u...

Couldn't put it down until I was finished. A simple love story between two people who didn't ask for much out of life. Their marriage was based on mutual need from each other. He needed a wife to clean and cook for him and she needed a man who would adored her. This was an unusual book, but I loved it.

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Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I really loved this bo...

I really loved this book. I picked it up because the title intrigued me and it seemed like a short easy read, which it was. I found myself surprised by the richness of it all. I didn't think that you could feel so connected to so many characters in such a short amount of time. Ms. Gibbons crafts such complex characters, who all have very distinct voices, and paints an entire relationship so beautifully. She is clearly a very talented author and I cannot wait to get my hands onto more of her novels.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Beautifully written, A...

Beautifully written, A Virtuous Women, is the quiet love story of Ruby Pitt Woodrow, daughter of a rich farmer, and Jack Stokes, a tenant farmer. At first they seem an unlikely match, Ruby, although 20 years younger than Jack, is already widowed, Jack, unattractive and unsuccessful, has never been married. But both have had tough lives. Ruby is alienated from her parents due to her brief marriage which was a disaster. She is working as a maid when she meets Jack. Jack has never had much, although his dream is to own a piece of land. Together they find, if not what they were looking for, a sense of completeness. 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.

Helpful?
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