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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  185 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Ruth is thirty two years old and doesn't know if she wants to be thirty three. Her meticulously-ordered lonely life as a microbiologist is starved of pleasure and devoid of meaning. She decides to give herself three months to decide whether or not to end her life, and we read her daily diary as she struggles to make sense of her past and grapples with the pain of the prese ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Woodsmoke Press (first published November 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie Gengo
Aug 17, 2010 Julie Gengo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 18, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this one down. Ruth is so real and tragic she made my heart hurt. Some books stay in your head and heart forever, and this is one of them. Profound.
Sassy Brit
May 26, 2010 Sassy Brit rated it really liked it
Ruth doesn't know if she wants to live or die, so she gives herself 92 days to think about it, choosing to mull over her final decision by writing a diary. Some days are better than others, but just as she is picking herself up and dusting herself down, her father is in a car accident. Now they may never reconcile their differences. And her will to stop cutting herself wavers.

Day-by-day Ruth shares her suffering for all to see, as if when she dies it will be a kind of explanation for what she ha
Dec 30, 2009 Redheadjen rated it liked it
Received this in a goodreads giveaway and immediately wanted to follow Ruth's story. As Ruth's story unfolds, you realize why she feels the way she does about life. I really like how her decision has freed her to try new things in life. When my son was diagnosed with cancer, we started realizing how many things we had been putting off or not doing that would make us happy - what are we all waiting for?

I wish I could see Red's paintings - powerful idea - what a way to make you see in the mirror.
Jan 11, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
Following this woman's tragic & lonely life through her journal. The reader is pulled into this book from the very beginning. A very tragic story.
Jan 02, 2010 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
I identified with Ruth in many ways, though not, thank God, the cutting.
Still, in many ways we are much alike, sometimes, it was scary.
I am so glad it was a happy ending for her, at least for awhile. And so, too, with me.
Great book.
Apr 30, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it
Thaw was a powerful and emotional journey. The story that Ruth told the reader through her private journal was so real that I almost felt as if I was invading her privacy. She was a deeply depressed character, and at first the premise that she was spending three months trying to decide if she would end her life was troubling for me. However, after reading several days worth of her thoughts, I was caught up in her life and her thoughts of why she might want to end it.

Fiona Robyn created a hauntin
Jun 01, 2010 WifeMomKnitter rated it it was amazing
Recommended to WifeMomKnitter by: Fiona Robyn
Shelves: book-splash
The website blurb description:

"Ruth is thirty two years old and doesn't know if she wants to be thirty three. Her meticulously-ordered lonely life as a microbiologist is starved of pleasure and devoid of meaning. She decides to give herself three months to decide whether or not to end her life, and we read her daily diary as she struggles to make sense of her past and grapples with the pain of the present. 'Thaw' explores what makes any of our lives worth living. Can Red, the eccentric Russian a
Yet again I find reading a Robyn novel a lot like meeting a new acquaintance. It’s a process of getting to know them, seeing if we hit it off. And I’m still not altogether sure about Ruth, perhaps in part because she’s not that certain of herself. Robyn creates characters that you have to work to get close to, they don’t invite you in easily, and yet it’s hard to walk away from them.

Written entirely in the form of a diary, at times this form seemed to constrain the writing – however, this was o
The Rainbow Zebra
May 31, 2010 The Rainbow Zebra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to The Rainbow Zebra by: Fiona Robyn
Currently reading the online/blog version of "Thaw"--it is amazing and such a clever way for the author to make this novel accessible to everyone. GREAT format! About a week to go...

This review refers to the online version at

I LOVED Thaw. I've never read a novel online. I'm an old-fashioned girl who likes to hold a book made of paper, carry it around with me.

Thaw changed all that. I owe it mostly due to Fiona Robyn's brilliant style for this novel--in diary form, one post
Jan 30, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-library
A roller coaster ride that leaves one a little disturbed, but is remarkably honest. There are lots of great thought provoking insights which leaves me wondering how much the author has experienced herself.

Certainly worth reading - if for the style alone. Each day is diariesed and really readable. To say more would mean a spoiler alert (which is not my style). Towards the end I found myself speeding up my reading to find out the ulimate answer of Ruths three month quest to decide if she will choo
Janette Jones
Apr 25, 2011 Janette Jones rated it liked it
My first Fiona Robyn's book and I wasn't disappointed. The flow in this book was incredibly. Instantly you were transported to the diary of some one who didn't quite fit in to society, her hopes, insecurities and faults. Page by page, you were painfully aware of her thought process of wanting to die, willing her to gain confidence or for some one to just befriend her. A very easy read but incredibly thought provoking.
Aug 02, 2011 Melee rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-online
[Read online here.]

I wasn't planning on reading Thaw so quickly, but I couldn't help myself! It's not so much that I was dying to know how it ended, I was just enjoying the "journey", I suppose, of getting to the end. I really like Fiona Robyn's writing, her prose was quite beautiful in parts.

I'm not sure I ever exactly loved Ruth, the main character. I think because we're a lot more alike than I'd like to admit. Reading her story brought back quite a few memories since I went through some of th
Christine Bode
Apr 01, 2012 Christine Bode rated it it was amazing
Stars: 5.0

British author Fiona Robyn has written a visceral, poignant, and often agonizing story of a young woman named Ruth White who at 32-years-of-age doesn’t know whether she wants to be 33. Her small life is unfulfilling, seemingly void of love or meaning, and the death of her mother when she was a young girl haunts her still.

Her relationships are strained and awkward and her self-esteem is almost non-existent, even though she is well-educated and works as a microbiologist. Ruth is very goo
Erin Lee
May 30, 2012 Erin Lee rated it really liked it
I loved and hated the ending of this book in pretty much equal measures.
Natalie Richards
Mar 12, 2013 Natalie Richards rated it really liked it
This is a really emotional read. Satya Robyn has written a book that I`m sure many people could identify with, I certainly did. Who doesn`t wonder "what is it all about?". The writing is so beautiful in places; one part in particular is haunting to me "What sums do you do to find out whether it`s worth it in the long run, all the hurt? How do you work out whether it`s worth making friends with the snowman before he melts?". ...more
Kenetha Stanton
May 13, 2013 Kenetha Stanton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I read this book in one sitting because I grew to care so much about Ruth, the main character, that I couldn't stand the suspense of wondering what she would decide at the end of her three months. Ruth is portrayed in an honest and heartbreaking way as we explore her past wounds and the challenges those create in her current life through her eyes. Her slow reveal of her story in her journal makes her sympathetic and astoundingly real.

The other characters that populate Ruth's life are also drawn
May 24, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
I actually give this a 3 1/2 star rating but can't figure out how to give a 1/2 star LOL. Good read but not sure I actually "loved' this book. I think, if we are being honest, we all can relate to this book at times in our lives. Not sure that's such a good thing, but I am being truthful in saying it.
Kate Hewitt
May 30, 2013 Kate Hewitt rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's utterly riveting, even though not a lot happens. I ached for the narrator, absolutely ached for her. Definitely recommended!
Joy  Cagil
Jun 03, 2013 Joy Cagil rated it it was amazing
Thaw is the story of Ruth who suffers from a deep-rooted depression. The depression may have started earlier when she was in an impressionable age, or if it were present already, it was made stronger with by her mother’s long illness and death. Although Ruth puts up a good front, in her misery, Ruth decides to kill herself. From that decision on, her life starts to change and good things begin to happen to her.

When Ruth decides to have her portrait painted as a gift to her father, she meets the
Charlotte Diamandis
Jun 21, 2013 Charlotte Diamandis rated it it was amazing
The beauty of this book cannot be put into words It is the best book that I have read in ages. You are transported into a whole new world where much of Ruth's life can be related to. The highs and lows guide you through the book and force you to continue reading. At the end you are left in a permanent state of reflection and awe .
Carrie Bray
Jun 26, 2013 Carrie Bray rated it liked it
the beginning was very slow then I had to get to the end to see what happened not be caused I cared but I had to know. I did enjoy the art references and looked up many of them. I think I can identify with the character often so that I think made it too real for me at this time in my life.
Jun 28, 2013 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Ruth is so flawed and so real. She decides to prove, through journal writing, why her life is not worth living. Whether or not she achieves that goal is up to the reader. Her experiences, feelings and decisions seem so raw and real. I kept reading to discover where Ruth's life would go. She is a well-developed character, and I truly enjoyed this book.
Sep 02, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
Ruth is 32 years old. She lost her mother at 14 and feels as if she is "existing" , not living. Her depression leads her to make the decision to die in 3 months time. During the 3 months she writes a journal that she plans to leave to her loved ones. Worth the read.
Apr 25, 2014 Adri rated it really liked it
This was by no means an easy book to read. In fact, I found it to be bitterly painful a lot of the time. There is so much with which one can identify, but there is also so much which stays just below the surface. Often there is a small surge of hope, which is just a quickly dampened. And all of this causes one to sway hither an thither - hope and despair, despair and hope. And in the end it is all left dangling, for each of us to make up our own minds.

Fine writing indeed. My one minor criticism
This was incredibly hard to read, and often I thought of putting it down and not reading any more. Not because the story was bad or the writing unsatisfying - but because I could relate to it too much. Thaw tells the story of Ruth, a very ordinary woman leading a very ordinary life. She's depressed and has given herself three months to live. In the meantime, she's keeping a journal, and this is what we read. She tells us about her day, about her life so far, the things that bother her, the thing ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is written in diary form, one entry for each day that Ruth has given herself to decide whether or not to keep on living. Robyn used the structure to make some powerful statements; some days the entries were really long, and on others all the pages contained was the date.

This book was so beautiful. Every emotion was written so vividly, so creepily clearly. One of my favourite parts is near the beginning, where Ruth is explaining how sadness can just suddenly overtake her:
As I walked th
Jan Lewis
Oct 09, 2015 Jan Lewis rated it liked it
Thaw is a story of a young woman who decides to end her life at the end of 90 days. She begins a daily journey outlining the events of each day in an ongoing attempt to find some sort of reason not to end her life. It is a sad look at someone who never came to terms with the death of her mother when she was only 14 years old, the lack of emotional bonding with her father directly after, and the shell that became her life. I wasn't sure I was going to like or even finish this one, but I did perse ...more
Kellie Dipiro
Nov 15, 2015 Kellie Dipiro rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is so full of vivid emotion. The story is heart breaking and thought provoking. At the end of the book, the resounding thing that came to me was, "we are all the victims of our own past and no one can really know what's in our heads". This book is brilliant!
Feb 20, 2016 Olivia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thaw is a very heart wrenching and thought provoking book. There is no prince in shining armor. There is probably no happy-ever-afters either. All there is is a life of Ruth, depressed, suicidal and afraid. I knew that Ruth was suicidal from the beginning of the book, but what I didn't realize is that she was hollow on the inside as well. I feel that she started to really live on the day she made the decision to give herself three months to see if she wanted to live or commit suicide. As the day ...more
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Thaw 3 4 Jun 13, 2013 03:21PM  
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Satya Robyn is a novelist living in Malvern, the UK. She wrote the best-selling 'The Most Beautiful Thing'. Her new novel is 'Afterwards' is out now. Her author site is here.

She founded Writing Our Way Home with her husband Kaspa and their mission is to help people connect with the world through writing.

She posts a short piece of observational writing called a small stone daily at a small stone.
More about Satya Robyn...

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