Saving Ruth

Zoe Fishman, Author
Zoe Fishman. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-205984-0
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-205985-7
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Most teens pack on the dreaded “freshman fifteen” their first year at college, but 19-year-old Ruth’s first year triggers an eating disorder that turns the likable smart-aleck pudge into a rail-thin introvert—and unlikely hero. Ruth’s agonizing personal crisis comes to a head during her summer break. “I’m scared of food... scared that I’ll gain weight,” she finally confesses to a nine-year-old girl who idolizes her. Still, Ruth manages to find romance with her brother’s best friend Chris, who sees beyond her delusions. As Ruth battles her demons, her parents struggle with an empty nest and a stale relationship, while “golden child” brother David, guarding a troubling secret, grows weary under the weight of others’ expectations. Ruth and David also face simmering racial and anti-Semitic tensions in their modern-day Southern town—insidious prejudices that rear their heads when Ruth saves a black child who nearly drowns at the pool where Ruth and David are lifeguards. Fishman (Balancing Acts) deftly works a small love story around larger themes of loyalty, courage, and social justice, turning what begins as adolescent angst into a touching bildungsroman. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary. (May)
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