This novel is about Jack and Ruby Stokes and their marriage. They donít
have your typical love story. Ruby was just emerging as a widow from a nightmarish
experience when she met him. She was from a higher-income family and twenty
years younger than him, and yet they managed a long, happy marriage, the details
of which both of them share as the speakers in alternating chapters.
This book fell in my ďgood book, glad I read it, but doesnít fall
into my favoritesĒ category. Now donít misunderstandóthis book
fell into the appropriate place in my head where I could refer back to it when
needed, and Iím glad I read it to fill that gap. Itís a necessary
part of my literary memory now.
But it didnít quite make it into my favoritesóIím a bit puzzled
hat was lacking, though others Iíve talked to about it have had the same
experience. In fact, Iím told there are other Kaye Gibbons novels I should
read because they were better. Iím planning to try a couple, especially
since I went to hear the author speak and she's fabulous to listen to.
A Virtuous Woman definitely has its merits in spite of its puzzling
somewhere-above-average-ness. The characters are vivid, the marriage between
the two speakers is extraordinarily well described, the dialects are well done,
and the plot stands out. This is one of those books Iíll think of in reference
to many different subjects. I canít quite figure why I donít like it more.