Book Review: Saving Ruth

Saving Ruth by Zoe Fishman

This book was about a young Jewish girl from the south who returns home to Alabama after going to college in Michigan for a year. She has changed, and not all for the good. She left home a bit overweight and developed an eating disorder while she was gone. When she returns home, she not only has to face that fact, but she also has to deal with other adult issues such as familial problems, racial issues and romantic endeavors. 

I remember being 19 and coming back home "all grown up" after being gone for a year. I didn't have the same issues that Ruth had, but this book still hit a place in my heart because like Ruth, at that age, you spend a lot of time trying to find yourself. She unfortunately goes down the wrong path and decides to starve herself in order to stay thin, and when she does, she discovers a new found popularity. Or perhaps she was not unpopular before, but only discovered a new found confidence. Didn't we all experience that one way or another? 

However, this confidence is unhealthy. To top things off, her brother David, who used to be the life of the party, and who is also home from college, spends his summer brooding and moping around. She feels like he is ignoring her and is upset about something but he won't talk to her about it; he just brushes her off.

They both deny having any problems until there is a big blowout with the whole family and they both have to finally face the truth. They are not alone, however.  It turns out they are not the only one with issues to deal with. I found this also quite realistic, as it seems like much of the time many of us tend to deal with (or point out) other people's issues before admitting or fixing our own.

I found this book a quick and easy read. I liked Ruth and her family. I found her believable and likeable and at times both immature and mature for her age. I really wanted her to succeed and I felt that she did, in her own way. I

If you want to read more reviews or see the rest of the tour dates for this book, you can do that here. You can also learn more about Zoe on her website, Facebook, and Twitter! Zoe will also be interviewed by Book Club Girl on the Book Club Girl On Air show on Tuesday, June 12th at 7pm ET.

Do you remember your first summer (or trip) back home after being gone for college? How did it turn out? Did you feel like an adult?  

I received this book from TLC Book Tours for free in return for an honest review. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own. 


  1. I am glad you liked this! I got it from TLC book tours, too, and will be reviewing it in June.

    I never did move back home after my first year of college (I stayed in my college town and worked/took summer classes), so I did not have that experience of 'moving home'. I had visits home and I honestly felt out of place. Not in my family home, of course, but in that town in general. I really dislike the small town that I grew up in, so I just hated going back there because it reminded me of the insecurities and sad times of my youth. And I still feel that way when I go to my hometown...

  2. This sounds like a good one to add to the beach read rotation!! I remember coming back and missing my friends from college so much. I definitely felt grown up and stuck between being a teenager still and being a college girl!

  3. Looking for some good reads right now, so thanks for turning me onto this! I remember that first summer, also, and I remember feeling "too big" for my old hometown. So young and naive at that age, but we all have to go through it, right?

  4. I went home after my first year of college and then never again after that. Going from a small, conservative suburb to a big, liberal college town was so liberating. Having to go back to that conservative suburb was pretty stifling.

  5. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review:) I remember coming home from college and thinking that all my non-college friends were extremely immature. They had such different priorities than me and unfortunately, I no longer keep in contact with any of them. Weird how life can change so quickly.

  6. ohhh-putting it on my summer read list!

  7. I had a terrible first year of college experience so I actually loved coming home. And since my hometown had a campus of my college there, I became a commuter student anyway. I never felt like I fit in at my college, though, and I didn't have that "real" college experience. I don't regret it, though. :)

  8. Sounds like a very interesting read....my daughter struggles with a lot of these demons (she's 21), might be good for her to read, too?!

  9. This book sounds like a really good one!

  10. Sounds like a good book. I'm always looking for something good to read.

    I do remember it being hard to come home. Especially after I graduated - I lived at home when I first started working. That was hard/complicated - can't believe my mom and I didn't kill each other.

  11. This time in my life was a bit strained as well so I'm sure I'll identify with some of Ruth's experiences as well.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  12. That sounds good. I'm adding it to my list!


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