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|Read Kindle ⚟ The Book of Reuben Þ In A Decade Shadowed By The Draft And The War In Vietnam, Reuben Is A Raw Boned, Determined Teenager Whose Ideas Of Romance Have Been Shaped By The Songs Of His Generation And Whose Dreams Seem Well Within His Reach Despite The Death Of His Tyrannical Father He Tries To Do Everything Right According To The Standard American Success Story But Life Is Not A Straight Line For Him He Stars In High School Sports, But Has To Abandon His Athletic Ambitions To Go To Work He Labors Hard At The Local Filling Station And Works His Way Up To Buying It, But Is Frustrated By Obstacles In His Way He Meets A Rich And Beautiful Older Woman Who Takes Him Into Her Bed, And Has The Misfortune To Witness Her Child S Mysterious Murder He Marries His Childhood Sweetheart, And Finds Himself On A Battleground That Lies Between Desire And Responsibility While Nothing Turns Out As Reuben Expects, His Incredible Spirit And Core Of Strength, His Refusal To Break Down Or Cave In, Is Evidenced By His Readiness To Love Again After He Meets The Beautiful Pearl And His Struggle To Become The Person He Had Envisioned Gives Insight Into What It Costs Him To Become A Man In A World He Never Made But Learns To Accept Moving From The Still Landscape Of The Fifties And Through The Riven Fault Lines Of The Sixties And Seventies, The Book Of Reuben Explores The Contours Of Time And Place Nodd S Ridge And Its People Come Alive As Tabitha King S Deeply Involving Novel Captures The Searing, Gritty Reality Of Small Town America Bristling With Explosive Emotions And Filled With Anger, Love, Confrontation, And Reconciliation, It Touches A Common Nerve And Casts A Light On Our Own Lives The writing reminds me of Richard Russo, in that it s a character driven book, a portrait of a man s life not romanticized but stunning The life evoked by King s writing is beautiful and sad I had a hard time putting it down. I first read this book in early 2015 and did not care for it By that point I d read almost all of Tabitha King s catalogue and had grown to appreciate and enjoy her writing style No, she doesn t write like her husband at all, nor would I want her to Most of her books are set in the fictitious town of Nodd s Ridge, Maine, a small community where everyone knows each other and no local scandal goes unnoticed The five Nodd s Ridge books Caretakers, The Trap, Pearl, One on One, and The Book of Reuben revolve around a set cast of characters with a few variables thrown in King s books are very much character oriented she explores in depth the people of this town she s created The reader gets up close and personal looks at the happenings, both good and ugly When I read The Book of Reuben for the first time my life was pretty hectic I was nearing the end of a stressful college semester and I was about to undergo surgery on my back I simply was not in a positive or steady state of mind I wasn t open to a book about ugly people with ugly problems, facing real life horrors like infidelity and the Vietnam War draft Therefore, I had quite the adverse reaction to this one I got 2 3 of the way in and couldn t take any I gave up on it, and almost gave up on King s writing altogether She paints pictures of struggle and fear so well her novels are almost too much to take, sometimes Fast forward to the present I am nearing the end of the initial stage of my college career, and plans for my future are much sturdier and clearer I m no longer making trips to Birmingham every other week for consultations with specialists I ve been in two serious relationships one great, one horrible and have put myself together after both In short, I m in a better place So I decided to reread The Book of Reuben, and give it a fair shake Am I glad I did I enjoyed it much this time around This book acts as the prequel to both Pearl and One On One, and takes place in roughly the same timeframe as Caretakers and The Trap Reuben Styles, the protagonist of the story, wants nothing than to find happiness, but he somehow always creates hurdles for himself This is very much a coming of age story Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 60s and 70s and the reformation decade that is the 80s, the reader sees Reuben grow and work hard and fall in and out of love He s an average, blue collar man in a small town where everyone knows him, for good or bad I love this guy so much I love him in every Tabitha King novel in which he appears, and I wish King would write again if only to give us an update on how this man is doing after all these years This is a tough, raunchy, and real novel It isn t for the faint of heart It explores the joys and woes of sex, the pain of alcoholism, the dangers of fervent religiosity There s divorce and physical altercations There is heartbreak There is financial ruin It isn t pretty these are rough, backwoods people who don t live easy lives but it s a necessary and rewarding read King s grasp of character is awe inspiring, and her poetic prose is stunning This is story worthy reading, and reading again Highly recommended. I was pleasantly suprised at Tabitha s talent I have never read anything by Mrs King but wow, she s got a real way with words She has her own style, rather hard hitting The book basically told the story of Reuben from his childhood through his middle life He witnessed the killing of a young girl and this is pivotal to the story He grew up in a small town, and like many small towns, there are secrets, feuds, hatred The story of his marriage is heart breaking Sometimes I didn t like Reuben very much, but came to realize Tabitha King is just showing us what we humans are, warts and all. This is the prequel to Pearl Which I have read twice I love Reuben He is a modern day hero, flawed, and yet, tryingto do the right thing.