Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Virtuos Woman by Kaye Gibbons and Cancer Update #5

Dad was in the hospital having surgery - that is actually good news. The chemotherapy and radiation were so successful that the only cancer left was the original tumor in the lung so they cut that bad boy out. Spending the day at his bedside during recovery, I knew I would need a book. I plucked this one off the shelves because I am closing in on the end of the A-Z Reading Challenge and I needed a "V" book. Didn't know until I flipped it open that it is the story of "a virtuous woman" who dies from lung cancer. Not sure what the word would be to describe that ..irony, satire, allusion, just plain bad luck? But despite that, the book was a good choice. Dad is still in the hospital, it has been one week now and we are eager for news that he can go home. I'll keep you posted.

From the Amazon product description: The virtuous woman is Ruby Pitt Woodrow, .... 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.
I can hardly remember Kaye Gibbon's first novel, Ellen Foster, except that I remember I liked it. This book shares a setting and a few characters with that one but the only name I recognized was Ellen. A Virtuous Woman starts out with the title character already dead and goes back and forth between present and past to tell us the story. It worked for me because it meant short chapters in an already short book for a reader, who at the time, had a pretty short attention span. (Read a chapter, blood pressure check, read a chapter, skin assessment team visits, read a chapter, chaplain drops by, read a chapter, central line check, continue for the entire day and are not restful places.) The description reads of a "love unstated"; there was no flowery romantic language. The book was plain spoken like the people it told about and the most beautiful expression of love comes after Ruby has already passed. Even though it hit a little close to home, I enjoyed this one.

This book is my "V" book for the 2010 A-Z Reading Challenge. Click on the button to see my progress.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That is wonderful news! My mother in law has had cancer removed from both of her lungs and she's doing great!