The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life (2020)

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life Rod Dreher The Little Way of Ruthie Leming A Southern Girl a Small Town and the Secret of a Good Life THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher a Philadelphia journalist back to his hometown of St Francisville Louisiana pop in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie s death When she wa
  • Title: The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
  • Author: Rod Dreher
  • ISBN: 9781455521913
  • Page: 264
  • Format: Hardcover
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life Rod Dreher THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St Francisville, Louisiana pop 1,700 in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie s death When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacheTHE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St Francisville, Louisiana pop 1,700 in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie s death When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher He was also struck by the grace and courage with which his sister dealt with the disease that eventually took her life In Louisiana for Ruthie s funeral in the fall of 2011, Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led in their country town was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher In order to explore this revelation, Dreher and his wife decided to leave Philadelphia, move home to help with family responsibilities and have their three children grow up amidst the rituals that had defined his family for five generations Mardi Gras, L.S.U football games, and deer hunting As David Brooks poignantly described Dreher s journey homeward in a recent New York Times column, Dreher and his wife Julie decided to accept the limitations of small town life in exchange for the privilege of being part of a community.
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life Rod Dreher

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One thought on “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life

  1. Nicholas

    I also heard some sort of feature about this book on NPR and thought it sounded fascinating I am always game to read a memoir about death and the way that people react to it, and I was curious about the issue of community in cities and small towns that is at the heart of the book I regret to inform that I did not love the book Aside from the fact that I just don t think it s very well written clunky sentences, all kinds of recounting of feelings during conversations events that are clearly deriv [...]

  2. Amy Rogers

    First, let me explain my perspective as a reader I don t normally read this book s genre no memoir, no EAT PRAY LOVE for me I picked up THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING because of a feature I heard on NPR I was attracted by the theme of small town community vs big city isolation, and my own life experience sounded somewhat similar to the author s.So I cannot compare this book to similar feel good books of popular wisdom I bet it compares favorably Rod Dreher writes well, and this book had excelle [...]

  3. William

    I found a review of this book in a small journal that none of my friends read First Things, the Journal of Religion and Public Life Highly recommended So I thought that this book would also be one of those under the radar gems Halfway through the book, I heard interviews on NPR, saw reviews in other journals, and heard reading friends talking about it.Sidebar Reading friends is a retronym That is a term that used to stand on its own, but due to changing situations, now requires a prefix Example [...]

  4. Tonia Metz

    I wanted to read this book because of the connection to my home town I would see Mrs Leming at school and church functions I can not say I had a close personal relationship with her Seeing how much she was loved in our community made me want to read the story of her life This was the most emotional experience I have ever had reading a book Rod Dreher put you in the exact time and place as all the people introduced in the book I felt the happiness, closeness, bonds, hurt, agony, anger and most of [...]

  5. Carlea

    I heard this book featured on NPR and thought it sounded lovely As a person who has family in a small town while I and my family live in the Washington, DC area, I felt like I could relate to that inner conflict the author grappled with before moving back home after the death of his sister Unfortunately, I didn t love the book And I hate to speak ill of the dead but I thought his sister came off sounding petty and immature If anything, this book reaffirmed for me that small town life is not the [...]

  6. Gary

    Here s the thing I want you to know about Rod Dreher He evokes a loving but imperfect family in rural Louisiana, a bucolic oasis along the Mississippi River that paradoxically threatens to drown him in his youth, a life changing experience at the Cathedral de Chartres near Paris, a brush with death on 9 11, a career climb through the corridors of big city journalism, a spiritual search along orthodox and unorthodox paths, the small miracles of marriage, the burdens and joys of fatherhood, and th [...]

  7. Lance Kinzer

    I thought a lot about Walker Percy while reading this book Walker Percy who teaches that we live in a deranged age where man had not the faintest idea who he is or what he is doing Walker Percy who suggests that Home may be where the heart is but it s no place to spend Wednesday afternoon and Walker Percy who counsels that, It is not a bad thing to settle for the Little Way, not the big search for the big happiness but the sad little happiness of drinks and kisses, a good little car and a warm d [...]

  8. The Book Maven

    Someone has to stay home and tend to the family and the farm, and it sure wasn t going to be Ron Dreher since he was an adolescent, he had been yearning to escape the small Southern community in which he had been raised And escape he did, going away to boarding school and college and a thriving career as a journalist Staying home fell to his younger sister Ruthie, who was temperamentally suited for a life of early marriage, school teaching, and living the good life in her hometown, never strayin [...]

  9. Jane

    Although this book speaks a great deal about Christian faith and I am not of the same mind set , I found it wonderfully written The story is powerful, and the message is clear what we really have in life is the love we give and receive Ruthie chose life in a small southern town which meant she had less excitement, less cultural opportunity, less chance for varied experiences than her cosmopolitan brother But when she was attacked by a vicious cancer, she had an entire community of friends who c [...]

  10. Tracie

    What an incredible read In today s mobile and dispersed society, we underestimate or simply ignore the importance of community Of being part of something, someones that gives new meaning to I ve got your back Dreher s tribute not canonization to his sister, their community, and the relationships within that community will not leave your heart untouched Read it you ll be glad you did

  11. Laura

    None of us is ever able to try all the lives we wanted to live We try to guess which life will lead to the greatest happiness, set off on our course, and hope that if we decide to start over on a new path, we ll realize it before we get too far down the road.When Rod Dreher was growing up, he was sure he wanted out of the small town in Louisiana where he had been raised His sister Ruthie was sure of the exact opposite She never wanted to leave Their paths diverged early and, as is always the cas [...]

  12. Russell Fox

    Rod Dreher s new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life, is a wonderful bit of writing part biography of his younger sister Ruthie, who died cancer in 2011 , part memoir of his own relationship with Ruthie and with their parents and with the tiny town they both grew up in Starhill, near St Francisville, in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana from which he left and she remained , and part reflective essay on the mysteries of the ties we fee [...]

  13. Ann Lardas

    When you lose your parents, it s like someone stole the roof But, that s supposed to happen, and by the time we reach that point and stand there vulnerable and exposed, we will be able to rise to the occasion and fashion safe havens for ourselves and our loved ones When you lose a sibling, it s a different loss, because we foolishly think we will have them forever and we use them as part of the collective memory They can finish our sentences and tell us which uncle it was who said what They get [...]

  14. Charlane Brady

    A powerful story One that disrupted my life and forced me to take a step back I started reading The Little Way of Ruthie Leming on a flight back to San Francisco from visiting my Mom, my sister and my niece for Mother s Day When I got home, I sat down continuing to read the book I finished at 4 00am I identified I laughed I cried I craved And at the end, I prayed I identified with the nuances of a small, Louisiana town and that disagreeing with someone was often mistaken for rejection My childho [...]

  15. Laurie

    Have you ever disliked someone because she was too sweet, too good, too perfect That s how I felt about Ruthie Leming until she died There, now that I ve confessed that, I can go on and share what I did like in this book.I liked the author, the brother of the sainted Ruthie, whose story kept me reading He deals with confusion and asks probing questions about relationships and about choices made and about what is real I appreciated that realness This is a true story, but I didn t believe that whi [...]

  16. Frank Richardson

    The author Rod Dreher left his native southern Louisiana as soon as he could and began a career as a writer, columnist, blogger, etc and lived in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Dallas, etc He married and had a family His sister, Ruth, stayed home and married her childhood sweetheart, and taught school This was the type of family structure that the Dreher s had until Ruth was stricken with terminal cancer shortly after she turned 40 Rod make the decision to uproot his family again and move them to his h [...]

  17. Lady Jane

    I was disappointed by this book, having looked forward to reading it for a long time The first 3 4 or so read awkwardly like an overly long, hagiographic obituary of the author s tragically deceased sister I read that the author began interviewing subjects only 4 months after she died and wondered if he would have written the same book had he given himself time to complete the bereavement process Additionally, while I know that Rod Dreher is a very good writer, this long section of the book see [...]

  18. Shelli

    There was so much to relate to in this book I was the one who went away and have always felt a strong sense of place , and I think it s true for some of us, that we may need to leave in order to truly appreciate what we have This story really captures sibling relationships and the struggles we bear from our youthful perceptions of each other Can we really warn our children to nurture this relationship while they are young, or do we all have to learn the hard way This was a heart breaking story i [...]

  19. Katie Schuermann

    I sometimes struggle with the self focused nature of memoirs, but this author beautifully puts the best construction on the real, layered struggles of his family life for the benefit of his neighbor, both his literal neighbor in Louisiana and the reader And while I had some difficulty investing in the author s nostalgic remembrances which dominate the first third of the book, I realized by the last page that not a chapter was wasted from start to finish.

  20. Ladybute

    This book was absolutely beautiful Yes, it makes you cry, but not in a sentimental over done way It is very intense, very honest and I cannot imagine there is a person out there who cannot relate to the authors struggles between wanting roots, but still wanting to be himself, to loving our families dearly, but sometimes not being able to relate to them well There is so much to ponder in this book

  21. Adam

    Can s say enough about this book Loved it Cried like a baby during much it hit home in an intense way I ll be thinking about this book for a long time, I think.

  22. Ed Brenegar

    Living in the Worlds of Ruthie and RodRod Dreher s memoir of his sister, Ruthie, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, is a simple story as the subtitle suggests of A Southern Girl, A Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life Yet, it is much It is a story of many layers, dealing with the realities of small town life, how we as modern people deal with death, and ultimately, in its own way, a mirror of America in the 21st century reflecting the fragmentation into societal enclaves of rich and poor, ur [...]

  23. E

    Rod Dreher presents a frank yet tender look at the events surrounding his sister s death from cancer and his own family s return to live in the small Louisiana town where he grew up and the rest of the family continued to live Dreher left for good reasons, and returning was not easy to see just how difficult, read How Dante Can Save Your Life The Life Changing Wisdom of History s Greatest Poem , yet it seemed the right thing to do for the good of all involved.Dreher s sister, Ruthie, was not a p [...]

  24. Carol

    I do like memoirs The writing did drag in few spots, but I was compelled to read and explore the ideas with Rod Dreher It is a book about community, forgiveness, grace, integrity, and being open with each other It is a story about a family and their community I enjoyed that Rod shared his faith journey.

  25. Laurie Larson-Doornbos

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming NetGalley Rob Dreherrelease date April 9, 2013 When a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another, writes the agrarian essayist Wendell Berry How can they know one another if they have forgotten or have never learned one another s stories If they do not know one another s stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another People who do not trust one another do not help one another, a over they fear one another And this is our pre [...]

  26. MyLadyLydia

    Dreher s The Little Way of Ruthie Leming A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life is a jumble of cancer struggles, family dynamics, spiritual wanderings and signs, Parisian epiphanies, warring character traits, and contemplations on the meaning of community.Does that sound like a whole lot to tackle in one memoir It is To make it even scattered, Rod Dreher seems to be conflicted or undecided on many of the topics For example, most of the time he describes his sister Ruthie a [...]

  27. Barb Terpstra

    I m giving this book a 5 because it stayed with me after I finished it.I read this book because it seemed to be getting a lot of hype from booksellers In the first quarter to third of the book I kept thinking, this book is interesting, but it s not all that good I found that the deeper I got into the book, the the story resonated with me.Rod grew up in a small town that was too small for him He was is intellectual, and did not fit in He couldn t wait to leave his hometown of St Francisville, Lo [...]

  28. Sharon Chance

    I stumbled upon The Little Way of Ruthie Leming quite by accident as I was searching for southern themed books to take on vacation with me I knew it was a memoir, I knew it was about one man s perspective during his beloved sister s illness and how he coped after her death But I didn t know how much this book would touch my heart Rod Dreher tells the story of his sister, Ruthie Leming, with love, affection and with just a tiny touch of envy, I think He sees how much a part of their hometown she [...]

  29. Sally Ewan

    I am very glad that I read this book The title put me off for a while sounded like a mystic Catholic kind of thing When I googled the little way , St Th r se of Lisieux s name came up, so apparently my free associations weren t too far off Anyway, this is the story of the author s sister s battle with cancer and his decision to move back to his hometown, and how it all worked together in his understanding of himself and his family It combined some of my favorite things family, rootedness, the lu [...]

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