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Most Helpful Favorable Review
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
Sorry for your loss. Your story was beautifully written, and I
posted by momoffourRB on April 14, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
I read this on my Nook -- and did so because I admire Mr Dreher
posted by 9497387 on May 7, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 8, 2013
The reader knows Ruthie Lemming is a special kind of person for
The reader knows Ruthie Lemming is a special kind of person form the first paragraphs of this memoir. She possessed a unique kind of Grace, acceptance and compassion that made everyone who met her feel welcomed, important and included. In the Southeastern Louisiana town of West Feliciana, a town that “suffers no lack of kind people” she was “possibly the kindest person many (in that town) had ever met” (p.2). Mr. Dreher, Ruthie’s brother uses his memories and interviews with other of Ms. Lemming’s family members and friends to show just how wonderful she was. By the end of the book, I felt such a connection with this woman that calling her anything but “Ruthie” would seem a betrayal of a friend.
Ruthie and her brother were as opposite as could siblings ever be. He enjoys reading, deep discussions, Spiritual reflection, intellectual pursuits and he left home when he was 17. She loved the outdoors, chatting with people, hunting & fishing, accepted that God existed & loved her and lived all of her 42 years in the community into which she was born. They loved each other deeply and unabashedly but were not always friends. Mr. Dreher cannot grasp why his “saint’ (p.248) of a sister held regularly him is such disdain and was so readily judged him without the Grace she so easily gave to others.
Ruthie is diagnosed with a virulent form of Lung Cancer when she was 41 (by the time it was discovered, she was at stage IV, with a life expectancy of six weeks to three months, she survived 19 months). The author visited her, from his home in New York, as frequently as possible but he quickly realized living “away” and, before Ruthie’s illness, usually only seeing his family 3 weeks a year, “if we were lucky,” was not enough to repair his and Ruthie’s relationship. This book is one of hope, redemption and living, it is not a book about death or grief. What he does to find forgiveness and peace with his sister makes up the last 25% of the books’ volume but it is the most powerful section of a very moving read. Mr. Dreher’s openness in sharing his experience of learning the deep Spiritual truth that Love and rejection can be held with equal tension within a relationship is a worth the cost of reading this book. This mystery can only be experienced – not explained nor completely understood – and accepted; the author allows the readers to see his struggle in all its pain, confusion and resolution.
There is no violence, sex or profanity to be found in these pages of this book. There is sadness, grief, joy, laughter, conflict, revelation and moments of such existential intimacy that they seem to be voyeuristic throughout the book. Have a dry hankie or a fresh box of tissues as you read of Ruthie’s illness. Most of the tears I shed were in response to the kindness, generosity and compassion shown to, and by, Ruthie. “The little way” of Ruthie Lemming was revealed to be the power of connection. She touched people on a level that was easily recognized as their “self” and those lucky folks found acceptance as and where they were in that relationship. One of the fruits of such connection is shown to be the hope that we can so freely give to each other and just as freely receive.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2013
Posted February 12, 2014
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