Drowning Ruth is disturbing story of a family who upholds traits common of the 1920s in rural Wisconsin, say nothing and show no weakness. Amanda Starkey is the oldest daughter who has gone off to the 'big city' of Milwaukee to be a nurse. She falls in love with a man, Clement Owens, who most anyone not out of the backwoods would have realized was married. She is heartbroken and returns home to her sister Mathilda and her young daughter Ruth. Mathilda's husband is off fighting in France and their parents had died from influenza a few years earlier. When she returns home, Amanda realizes her affair with Owens has put herself in a position of dishonor. She manages to hide this from most everyone and her Mathilda figure out a plan. However, emotions are a tricky business and what happens after the baby is born is forever wondered about.
Amanda ends up in a sanitorium for a year and never appears to be a normal feeling human being. She becomes affixated on certain things and will not let anything stand in her way. This is a rather interesting tale, where the past is always nipping at the present and no one is saying the truth aloud. Some parts unrealistic, some parts you want to yell at the characters, but overall an intriguing look into the lives of the Starkey family.
And I am glad I finished, it because I JUST recieved a copy of Sworn to Silence, that I won!! Yay..