The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

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 ...

Details The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

TitleThe Little Way of Ruthie Leming
Release DateApr 9th, 2013
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

Reviews The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

  • Nicholas
    I also heard some sort of feature about this book on NPR and thought it sounded fascinating. I am always game to read a memoir about death and the way that people react to it, and I was curious about the issue of community in cities and small towns that is at the heart of the book. I regret to inform that I did not love the book. Aside from the fact that I just don't think it's very well written -- clunky sentences, all kinds of recounting of fee...
  • Amy Rogers
    First, let me explain my perspective as a reader. I don't normally read this book's genre: no memoir, no EAT PRAY LOVE for me. I picked up THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING because of a feature I heard on NPR. I was attracted by the theme of small-town community vs big-city isolation, and my own life experience sounded somewhat similar to the author's.So I cannot compare this book to similar feel-good books of popular wisdom. I bet it compares favo...
  • William
    I found a review of this book in a small journal that none of my friends read (First Things, the Journal of Religion and Public Life. Highly recommended.) So I thought that this book would also be one of those "under the radar" gems. Halfway through the book, I heard interviews on NPR, saw reviews in other journals, and heard reading friends talking about it.Sidebar: "Reading friends" is a retronym. That is a term that used to stand on its own, b...
  • Tonia Metz
    I wanted to read this book because of the connection to my home town. I would see Mrs. Leming at school and church functions. I can not say I had a close personal relationship with her. Seeing how much she was loved in our community made me want to read the story of her life. This was the most emotional experience I have ever had reading a book. Rod Dreher put you in the exact time and place as all the people introduced in the book. I felt the ha...
  • Carlea
    I heard this book featured on NPR and thought it sounded lovely. As a person who has family in a small town while I and my family live in the Washington, DC area, I felt like I could relate to that inner conflict the author grappled with before moving back home after the death of his sister. Unfortunately, I didn't love the book. And I hate to speak ill of the dead but I thought his sister came off sounding petty and immature. If anything, this b...
  • Gary
    Here's the thing I want you to know about Rod Dreher: He evokes a loving but imperfect family in rural Louisiana, a bucolic oasis along the Mississippi River that paradoxically threatens to drown him in his youth, a life-changing experience at the Cathedral de Chartres near Paris, a brush with death on 9/11, a career climb through the corridors of big-city journalism, a spiritual search along orthodox and unorthodox paths, the small miracles of m...
  • Lance Kinzer
    I thought a lot about Walker Percy while reading this book. Walker Percy who teaches that we live in a deranged age where “man had not the faintest idea who he is or what he is doing”; Walker Percy who suggests that “Home may be where the heart is but it's no place to spend Wednesday afternoon”; and Walker Percy who counsels that, “It is not a bad thing to settle for the Little Way, not the big search for the big happiness but the sad l...
  • The Book Maven
    Someone has to stay home and tend to the family and the farm, and it sure wasn’t going to be Ron Dreher—since he was an adolescent, he had been yearning to escape the small Southern community in which he had been raised. And escape he did, going away to boarding school and college and a thriving career as a journalist. Staying home fell to his younger sister Ruthie, who was temperamentally suited for a life of early marriage, school teaching,...
  • Jane
    Although this book speaks a great deal about Christian faith (and I am not of the same mind set), I found it wonderfully written. The story is powerful, and the message is clear: what we really have in life is the love we give and receive. Ruthie chose life in a small southern town which meant she had less excitement, less cultural opportunity, less chance for varied experiences than her more cosmopolitan brother. But when she was attacked by a v...
  • Tracie
    What an incredible read! In today's mobile and dispersed society, we underestimate (or simply ignore) the importance of community. Of being part of something, someones that gives new meaning to "I've got your back." Dreher's tribute (not canonization) to his sister, their community, and the relationships within that community will not leave your heart untouched. Read it--you'll be glad you did!
  • Laura
    None of us is ever able to try all the lives we wanted to live. We try to guess which life will lead to the greatest happiness, set off on our course, and hope that if we decide to start over on a new path, we'll realize it before we get too far down the road.When Rod Dreher was growing up, he was sure he wanted out of the small town in Louisiana where he had been raised. His sister Ruthie was sure of the exact opposite. She never wanted to leave...
  • Russell Fox
    Rod Dreher's new book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life, is a wonderful bit of writing--part biography (of his younger sister Ruthie, who died cancer in 2011), part memoir (of his own relationship with Ruthie and with their parents and with the tiny town they both grew up in--Starhill, near St. Francisville, in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana--from which he left and she remained), and ...
  • Sharon
    A story about our people and where we come from, told from the perspective of a brother who is different from his only sister. She loves the land and family and stays rooted there, giving of herself always -- even as she fights a deadly cancer. Her brother, who couldn't wait to get away and see the world, is a journalist. This is about coming home and learning who you are, or can be, and about things you didn't know or understand before. It's abo...
  • Ann Lardas
    When you lose your parents, it's like someone stole the roof. But, that's supposed to happen, and by the time we reach that point and stand there vulnerable and exposed, we will be able to rise to the occasion and fashion safe havens for ourselves and our loved ones. When you lose a sibling, it's a different loss, because we foolishly think we will have them forever and we use them as part of the collective memory. They can finish our sentences a...
  • Charlane Brady
    A powerful story. One that disrupted my life and forced me to take a step back. I started reading The Little Way of Ruthie Leming on a flight back to San Francisco from visiting my Mom, my sister and my niece for Mother’s Day. When I got home, I sat down continuing to read the book. I finished at 4:00am. I identified. I laughed. I cried. I craved. And at the end, I prayed. I identified with the nuances of a small, Louisiana town and that disagr...
  • Laurie
    Have you ever disliked someone because she was too sweet, too good, too perfect? That's how I felt about Ruthie Leming until she died. There, now that I've confessed that, I can go on and share what I did like in this book.I liked the author, the brother of the sainted Ruthie, whose story kept me reading. He deals with confusion and asks probing questions about relationships and about choices made and about what is real. I appreciated that realne...
  • Frank Richardson
    The author Rod Dreher left his native southern Louisiana as soon as he could and began a career as a writer, columnist, blogger, etc and lived in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Dallas, etc. He married and had a family. His sister, Ruth, stayed home and married her childhood sweetheart, and taught school. This was the type of family structure that the Dreher's had until Ruth was stricken with terminal cancer shortly after she turned 40. Rod make the deci...
  • Lady Jane
    I was disappointed by this book, having looked forward to reading it for a long time. The first 3/4 or so read awkwardly like an overly long, hagiographic obituary of the author's tragically deceased sister. I read that the author began interviewing subjects only 4 months after she died and wondered if he would have written the same book had he given himself more time to complete the bereavement process. Additionally, while I know that Rod Dreher...
  • Shelli
    There was so much to relate to in this book. I was the one who "went away" and have always felt a strong sense of "place" , and I think it's true for some of us, that we may need to leave in order to truly appreciate what we have. This story really captures sibling relationships and the struggles we bear from our youthful perceptions of each other. Can we really warn our children to nurture this relationship while they are young, or do we all hav...
  • Katie Schuermann
    I sometimes struggle with the self-focused nature of memoirs, but this author beautifully puts the best construction on the real, layered struggles of his family life for the benefit of his neighbor, both his literal neighbor in Louisiana and the reader. And while I had some difficulty investing in the author's nostalgic remembrances which dominate the first third of the book, I realized by the last page that not a chapter was wasted from start t...
  • Ladybute
    This book was absolutely beautiful. Yes, it makes you cry, but not in a sentimental over done way. It is very intense, very honest and I cannot imagine there is a person out there who cannot relate to the authors struggles between wanting roots, but still wanting to be himself, to loving our families dearly, but sometimes not being able to relate to them well. There is so much to ponder in this book
  • Adam
    Can's say enough about this book. Loved it. Cried like a baby during much it - hit home in an intense way. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time, I think.
  • Ed Brenegar
    Living in the Worlds of Ruthie and RodRod Dreher's memoir of his sister, Ruthie, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, is a simple story as the subtitle suggests of "A Southern Girl, A Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life." Yet, it is much more. It is a story of many layers, dealing with the realities of small town life, how we as modern people deal with death, and ultimately, in its own way, a mirror of America in the 21st century reflecting the...
  • Kara Larson
    Read for book club and really loved this thought provoking story on community, family, big vs small town life, vocation, conflict, siblings, religion and overall how the choices we make in life and the way we treat others affects our life. HighlightsP11 “She was just kind of magical. She saw something good in everybody, even as a child.”P15 “There was something particular about Mam and Paw that made our house a center of community. They did...
  • E
    Rod Dreher presents a frank yet tender look at the events surrounding his sister's death from cancer and his own family's return to live in the small Louisiana town where he grew up and the rest of the family continued to live. Dreher left for good reasons, and returning was not easy (to see just how difficult, read How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem), yet it seemed the right thing to do for the good...
  • Catherine
    So touching. I think I cried most of my way through Ruthie's storie. Her si pimple approach to life was refreshing. It reminds you that family is more important than things. She saw good in everyone. The characters were real and the love for each other was strong. A good recipe for life. I will read this again later in life.
  • Carol
    I do like memoirs. The writing did drag in few spots, but I was compelled to read and explore the ideas with Rod Dreher. It is a book about community, forgiveness, grace, integrity, and being open with each other. It is a story about a family and their community. I enjoyed that Rod shared his faith journey.
  • Laurie Larson-Doornbos
    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (NetGalley)Rob Dreherrelease date: April 9, 2013"When a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another," writes the agrarian essayist Wendell Berry. "How can they know one another if they have forgotten or have never learned one another's stories? If they do not know one another's stories, how can they know whether or not to trust one another? People who do not trust one another do not help one ...
  • MyLadyLydia
    Dreher’s The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life is a jumble of cancer struggles, family dynamics, spiritual wanderings and signs, Parisian epiphanies, warring character traits, and contemplations on the meaning of community.Does that sound like a whole lot to tackle in one memoir? It is. To make it even more scattered, Rod Dreher seems to be conflicted or undecided on many of the topics. Fo...