Lit , Fiction Kate Phillips White Rabbit

ISBN 13: 9780060977191

White Rabbit

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9780060977191: White Rabbit

Meet Ruth Caster Hubble. Feisty, cantankerous, and irreverent, she is an old woman struggling to maintain order in a harebrained modern world, and today is the last day of her life.

White Rabbitfollows Ruth's progress minute by minute on this fateful day as she copes with the breakdown of her household appliances, her own vital organs, and her faith in romantic love. While Ruth meanders her way through the day's routine, heartbreaking memories surface that open windows into her past. She thinks of Hale, her beloved first husband, who died in 1944; and hopeless Henry, her steadfast husband of 36 years, whom she calls, with a mixture of affection and contempt, a "boob." As the hours tick by, Ruth starts seeing things. A furry white bunny keeps hiphopping across her field of vision, announcing "Time," and Ruth has to wonder if hers is up.

Written with an understated elegance, warmth, and surprising depth,White Rabbitheralds the arrival of a writer of formidable talent.

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About the Author:

Kate Phillips graduated from Dartmouth in 1988 and is presently a Ph.D. candidate in the American Civilization program at Harvard.

From Publishers Weekly:

Phillips's wise and witty first novel recounts a fateful day in the life of Ruth Caster Hubble, 88, who resides with her daft but devoted husband, Henry, in a condo in Laguna Beach, Calif. The title refers to the Caster family tradition of saying "White Rabbit" to one another on the first day of every month; on this particular White Rabbit day, Ruth is haunted by blurred visions of a snow-colored bunny that cause her to feel "as if all her routines were under attack by some insidious force of nature." These routines are portrayed in poignant detail, from the arranging of the protagonist's precisely composed breakfast to the steps in her morning beauty regime, to how she instructs Henry to separate the garbage; as the day progresses, however, Ruth's set ways are increasingly interrupted by memories of events and people past. Phillips brings a frank yet empathetic eye to the rich array of characters who appear either in person or through Ruth's reminiscences?including the woman's beloved first husband, Hale, who died decades ago and whose imperfections are revealed in the novel's climax; her eccentric, free-spirited Aunt Elizabeth; her successful but confused granddaughter, Karen, who drops by for dinner. Most memorable of all is Ruth herself, independent and caustic yet deeply caring, whose self-assured personality, tempered by loneliness, is fully realized. Deftly balancing humor with difficult questions about living and dying ("Would life without illusion be any more bearable, or meaningful, or kind?" Ruth wonders), Phillips, an author who, at age 28, is still near the beginning of her own adulthood, has managed to write a perceptive and sophisticated novel about a woman at the end of hers.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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