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Ruby & Roland

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  44 reviews
From the author of Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse and The Cape Ann comes a new tale of resilient womanhood in Harvester, Minnesota.

Growing up in early twentieth-century Illinois, Ruby Drake is a happy child. But one winter's night, her beloved parents perish in an accident--and suddenly Ruby finds herself penniless and nearly alone in the world. Her new path eventually takes
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Milkweed Editions
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  205 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Diane Barnes
I generally like Faith Sullivan's books. Her women are independent and strong, and the Harvester, Minnesota setting is a gentle place to be. So when I saw she had a new novel out, I requested it from the library. I couldn't quite get with the story line in this one though. Ruby was a great character, Roland not so much, and I felt the ending was a little improbable.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has a decent feel for farm or small town life in the early 20th century Midwest, not completely earthy and realistic, but decent enough. I actually could have done without the Roland of the title. I felt Ruby's relationship with the other women in the book, including Roland's wife Dora were far better developed and Roland himself was at best two dimensional. It was hard to see why he was such a favorite of everyone. Dora seems pretty dumb not to have figured out what was up. My ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Faith Sullivan does not disappoint. This coming-of-age story of a young woman named Ruby takes us from her being orphaned to learning to work on a farm to passionate love and beyond. It is set in Harvester, Minnesota, the setting of many of Sullivan's novels, but we catch only a glimpse of the characters we've come to know in prior novels. I have seldom read a novel featuring a young girl growing into womanhood that rings so true emotionally for me. The prose is beautiful, for example:

"The late
Teresa Sandner
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it as I do all her books. Mrs. Stillman was even mentioned in it. I love when she brings in characters from other books.
I liked Ruby's story....except for the whole Roland romance thing. What they did was gross, and that Ruby never told Dora was also gross.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Once again Faith has brought a character from Harvester to life! I do so enjoy her lovely simple people driven stories.
Daniel Aken
Just as she has in her life, Faith Sullivan has returned to southern Minnesota on the page, specifically to the town of Harvester, with her new novel, Ruby and Roland. Her sixth book set in Harvester and her ninth overall, Ruby and Roland feels comfortable in its familiar surroundings, returning not only to Harvester but to the World War I era of Sullivans previous effort, Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse (2015). Fans of an earlier Harvester novel, 2002s What a Woman Must Do, will rejoice at the ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's difficult to describe why I enjoyed this book so much without giving away plot turns that readers will want to discover for themselves, but I can say that

1. The description of farm life seems very authentic (though I wasn't around quite yet in 1900).

2. It's a tribute, and perhaps a guide, to resilience.

3. So many books/movies/TV shows feature characters who might be interesting and entertaining, but aren't people one would ever want to know in real life. This book is full of the
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
"Ruby & Roland" is a story of relationshipsfriendship, romance, and the families we are born with and ultimately createand of one woman's journey of selflessness on the prairie fduring WWI-WWII. A fascinating tale of one woman's resilience in Harvester, Minnesota. A very pleasant book like her other books I've read. Her writing reminds me of Sinclair Lewis in "Main Street." Yet, another story of a resilient woman, Carol Kennicott, who had to make her own way in a small town as well, despite ...more
Margaret Hoff
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This felt so comfortable. It it also held my interest. Southern Minnesota farm life in the era of WWII is the setting for these fine characters to develop. Im unsure if there was a particular message, but I enjoyed palling around with Ruby as she figured out who she was as an orphaned young girl, a hired girl, a farmer, a girlfriend, and an intellect in her own right. Even if some of her decision-making led her astray, her heart, she dug out a life in the unlikeliest of circumstances. I enjoyed ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Faith Sullivan presents wonderful female characters. Their independence and interdependence paints a soft picture of real friendship. Her characters believe in hard work and are happier when they are working for something. I appreciated the farming/nature setting of this story but most of all, I wanted to know the women every one of them and invite them for tea. And I missed them when the book ended.

The romance in the novel was steeped more in memory than on a living romance perhaps an easier
Jan 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I wanted so badly to like this book, and I thought there was a pretty good chance that I would. An elderly Mid-Westerner writing romance with a seemingly independent and endearing main character; an local, independent, and non-profit publishing house. What's not to like? But I found the romance at the center of the story to be wholly unbelievable and uninteresting. I also found the main character not all that likable. Finally, none of the characters felt fully developed and were therefore ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Sweet, but oddly not nearly as satisfying as Faith Sullivan's other novels, at least to my way of thinking. I never got much of a feel for the Roland of the title, other than a very good looking man that Ruby put her life through a lot of twists and turns over.

I would have much rather read about Ruby herself.
Lesley Bautista
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I always like books like this: smart orphan girl in some distant time in the past where life was more simple. So this was my book type for sure. The loyal kind of love that is deeply rooted in me too. I did really love Professor Cromwell and found Roland annoying as hell.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
She is such a beautiful writer... I loved the descriptions of farm life. I love the character of Ruby, but I never got a feeling for who Roland was, other than being handsome, to make her love him so much.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I have loved other Faith Sullivan books, but for some reason I didn't connect emotionally to the main character. The ending was satisfying, though, and the themes of family resonated.

All in all, a solid read.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another gem from Faith Sullivan. She is a gifted storyteller.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Liked how it began, ending got boggy - why would she go back and live the rest of her life with her lover's wife? A better woman than me! She was young and swayed by what she read.

Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Well written and engaging until the end which seemed implausible to me.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great book by Faith.
Kristin Troska
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good! I really felt like I was there in the book with the characters. I really liked how the story unfolded and things didn't allows happen the easy or predictable way. Great book!
Anna Marie Jonas
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Faith Sullivan never disappoints! She writes well and tells a good story.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Always find Faith Sullivan enjoyable and I have met her a few times.
Strong women.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Any trip to Harvester is worthwhile. The characters are engaging and familiar. It's an escape to travel back to a slower time.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Simple life
Sharon H
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Faith Sullivan does not disappoint.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy a trip to Harvester, MN. And I always end up never wanting those trips to end. Per usual, Ms. Sullivan doesnt disappoint. Once again I got a little misty-eyed at the end. LOVE the Harvester books! ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Not bad, not good enough. I really like Sullivans earlier novel but this one was not at that caliber. I found the love affair cringey and not believable. Whats to follow didnt make up for that. ...more
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