On Sale: February 2, 1998
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Ruth and her husband, Patrick, live in Bristol, where she
works as a correspondent for a mediocre radio station and he
is an up-and-coming TV news reporter. Their marriage is not
ideal, but the warmth offered by Patrick and his parents is
a welcome change for Ruth, who was orphaned at the age of
seven. Every Sunday Ruth and Patrick visit his parents at
their eighteenth-century manor farmhouse - afternoons loved
by Patrick and tolerated by Ruth. Then "the little house" at
the end of her in-laws' lane comes up for sale. When Ruth
discovers that she is pregnant, she is persuaded by Patrick
and his parents to abandon her career and move from their
city apartment to the quaint home in the country -
everything Patrick's mother has always wanted. Ruth is
lonely, uncomfortable, and bitter. Her husband does not
understand, and she is living under the watchful eye of a
domineering mother-in-law. Even her own pregnancy seems like
a burden. As circumstances threaten to overwhelm her, Ruth
struggles to set her life straight with a precarious mix of
good humor and outrage, composure and desperation. The
result is an engrossing, tragicomic tale of dysfunction -
with an utterly surprising, ironic, and intriguing conclusion.
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