December 29, 2017

Looking Back - A Virtuous Woman

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
1997 Vintage Books (first published in 1989)
Finished in May 1997
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life. 

Kaye Gibbons's first novel, Ellen Foster, won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the praise of writers from Walker Percy to Eudora Welty. In A Virtuous Woman, Gibbons transcends her early promise, creating a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.

My Original Notes (1997):

Another winner by Gibbons. Interesting writing device - alternates between voices of two characters every chapter. Timeline also goes backwards and then concludes full circle from the beginning. It took me a little longer to get hooked on this one, but once I did, that was it!

My Current Thoughts:

How funny that I mentioned the alternating points-of-view in my original notes. I guess I never encountered this device prior to reading this book. Now it's quite commonplace.

I don't recall the plot of this novel and reading the publisher's blurb as I type this review, I'm know I'm not at all interested in a re-read. 


  1. I think this is actually the Kaye Gibbons book I've read! It's been so long though no wonder I forgot which book I had read.

    1. Iliana, I wish I could remember more about this book. Gibbons was quite popular back in the 90s, thanks to Oprah.


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