Having gone off to school in Michigan, Ruth Wasserman is returning home for the summer. Walking right back into the life she left, she believes everything and everyone will be just the same as she left them. But she begins to notice things are ‘different’ with her parents, and then her brother, “the golden boy” David gets high during his shift at the pool. Having always felt second to her brother, while she hung out with friends drinking, parting, and obsessing over her weight and he was a soccer star and Mr. Popularity. The tables suddenly turn when a little girl gets in the pool on David’s watch and it’s Ruth who pulls her out!
The pool incident isn’t the only thing that’s different. Everyone is making off handed remarks about her extreme weight loss. Even one of mom’s at the pool asks Ruth to help inspire her daughter Kaki into losing weight. Ruth is getting mixed messages from friends and family about her loss.
Saving Ruth touched on serious topics such as prejudice and anorexia. I need to begin with the eating disorder. In my opinion, Fishman discussed it in a very realistic way. When most people think of eating disorders they think of those extreme cases, but eating disorders don’t happen overnight. She also mentions how Ruth wasn’t throwing up, therefore it couldn’t be anorexia—so not an eating disorder. All the while, she was getting noticed and by many in a positive way. And those who were worried about her said little to nothing.
I feel Saving Ruth is a great book for both Mother’s and teenage girls, truthfully this story could be used as a tool for a mom to talk to her daughter about weight issues if they are looking for a way to open up dialogue.
Great story enjoyed the characters. I was a little disappointed when it came to Ruth saving Tanisha. I suppose in all truthfulness most people would be worried about being sued, but to me it really overshadowed the great job Ruth did.
A great book to throw in your beach bag this summer, I’m recommending Saving Ruth by Zoe Fishman.
Reviewed by Laura Kay
Get to know Zoe Fishman:
and you can listen to a great interview: