Rachel Crooks's Reviews > A Virtuous Woman

A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
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's review
Feb 14, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

I was reading Charles Dickens around the same time that I picked up this book. Charles Dickens' era catered to melodrama, oversentimentalizing life - teardrops written over every scene. In Gibbons' work, sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are reading about tragedy - the narrative does little to exploit your feelings.
These characters don't know anything about how to be melodramatic. As Blinking Jack Stokes faces the fact that his wife Ruby is dying, he doesn't weep copious tears, rather, he jokes about it. But, in the little ordinary things, his life is being ripped apart.
It was an excellent exploration of how we deal with grief behind the curtains of our reserve. I would almost say, this book was the poetry of non-poetic people.

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