Regular readers of Rod Dreher's blog at American Conservative magazine have followed the story of the illness and death of his beloved younger sister, Ruthie Leming. Leming, a schoolteacher who served in the rural Louisiana parish they both grew up in, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer at the age of 40. This is a remarkable book about the last months of Ruthie's life and the community that rallied around her in the darkest of times.
But it's so much more than that.
Ruthie's death inspires the author to move back to his hometown with his own family, the place he left two decades ago to seek his fortune in the world. Back home, he grapples with his complicated relationships with his parents, nieces and Ruthie herself, whose death still left much unresolved between them. Themes of family, community, obligation and trust abound in this warm and absorbing book.
Brett @ Central