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Publisher Description

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 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."

Biographies & Memoirs
April 9
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Ruthie Leming ,

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

This book drew me in after I heard the interview on NPR recently and it's theme I thought would be interesting, but little did I know how deeply I would be affected by a young, ordinary woman from a part of the country I have no knowledge of nor care to ever visit!

This is NO ordinary woman, place or story at all.
I read the writers words as if I was eating fine sweets or drinking a good glass of wine- always wanting more and not wanting the book to end as it inevitably had too.

I've never cried as hard as I did during the last days of Ruthie's life, one would describe me as bawling my head off in the middle of the night to be more accurate.
I think it was a combination of how I grew to love the people in the book and the way this book is written. It is a love story of people and a place that will forever have a place in my heart.
This book will be a blessing to all who read it I guarantee.
Linda clauson

HDB114 ,

Book Review

Rod, what a touching tribute to your sister and wonderful story about a Southern family. I cried through most of the book only because it was so "real." Thanks for including the pictures at the end. Heartwarming! Continue to enjoy every day with your entire family. Great job!

Paul Pfaff ,

Engages both the head and the heart

This is a story about family, a brother and sister, home, faith, sickness and health, commitment and love. Dreher is unblinking in his descriptions of his own family of origin and how the pitfalls and the touching moments are all blended together. His sister, the title character, was clearly a beautiful soul and dedicated wife, mother, daughter and teacher. Yet this book does not idolize her. An inmate I saw once had tattooed across his chest: "My blessings are my curses". This book takes that sentiment and makes it a family crest. A heartwarming book, highly recommended.

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