Review: The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is absolutely outstanding.
It is written in the vein of Wendell Berry, but is the true story of Ruthie Leming and her brother, the author, Rod Dreher. This is an oversimplification of the story, but an easy boil down of it is that Rod is the young man who goes off into the world looking for adventure and experiences, while Ruthie is the young girl who stays home to continue in the bonds of community and family. Rod thinks he’s got it figured out and Ruthie thinks she does. Rod learns what he is missing when he sees the community spring into action, to fulfill love for neighbor and bearing one another’s burdens, when Ruthie is diagnosed with cancer.
This book really did a number on me. In a good way. It is sad, but not depressing sad. It is inspirationally sad. It has caused me to reconsider the choices I’ve made and am making in my own life. What will the community look like that rises to help me should I become ill? How will my children react to hardship in their community, in their family? What will they recognize as their community? Their (extended) family?
This may be the most important book I’ve read in the last year or more. A must read.