Broadview Press|January 4, 2011|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-55481-054-3
Ruth grew too fast.
A young girl over seven feet tall, she struggles to conceal the physical and mental symptoms of her rapid growth, to connect with other children, and to appease her parents, Elspeth, an English seamstress who lost her family to the war, and James, a mailman rethinking his devotion to his wife. Not knowing how to help Ruth, Elspeth and James turn inward away from one another. As their marriage falters, Ruth finds herself increasingly drawn to Suzy, the dangerous girl next door.
Ruth is not precocious, nor a prodigy, but her extraordinary size affords her extraordinary vision: a bird’s eye perspective that allows her not just to remember but to watch her past play out. Possessing an uncanny ability to intuit the emotional secrets of her family’s past and present, Ruth gently surfaces Elspeth and James’s vulnerabilities, their regrets, and their deepest longings.
I felt so bad for Ruth in this story. As a young girl starting out in school she longed for friends but no one wanted anything to do with her. She stood and watched the other children play wishing upon wish that someone would become her friend. It wasn’t until her teen years that she met, Suzy, the girl who moved in next door and they became fast friends. Suzy was a rather odd girl that balanced out Ruth’s oddity of extreme height which made them a likely pair for friendship.
Ruth’s parents, Elspeth and James, began to drift apart not knowing what was wrong with their daughter, how to help her, or why she kept growing and growing to eventually 7 feet tall!! Their doctor had kept telling them she would be fine. They had spoken of getting a second opinion but never pursued that avenue.
Elspeth and James’s marriage begins to crumble and James is re-evaluating his love and commitment to his wife when he makes a terrible decision. How is his decision going to affect Ruth and Elspeth?
This was a lovely story and one I will be recommending to friends.