This month’s book review is of Wild Water by British author Jan Ruth, previously featured in my year-end top five reads for a different series. I can’t say enough about this writer, and after reading nearly all of her books (two still lacking but that will be remedied soon), it’s safe to say I’m qualified to have an opinion on her entire body of work. Perhaps one day she’ll grant me the honor of an interview, but for now, a book review.
Wild Water might be categorized as general fiction or perhaps some branch of romance, but as the author writes in her Amazon biography, her work doesn’t neatly fit into any one particular genre (something I can certainly relate to.) Ruth explains, “As an author I have been described as a combination of literary-contemporary-romantic-comedy-rural-realism-family-saga; oh, and with an occasional criminal twist and a lot of the time, written from the male viewpoint.”
I happen to enjoy that male viewpoint, and it helps for the overall attitude of the books: nothing frilly, fairytale or dreamlike, just heart-pumping realism.
No one captures the emotional trials and triumphs of love, family and adulthood in general like Jan Ruth. She paints a detailed portrait of love, betrayal, heartache, stress, grief, divorce, parenthood and everything involved in those sometimes catastrophic events in the story of Jack, Patsy, Anna and their families and friends. And much like Ruth’s Midnight Sky series, there is a villain you hate so much, you’ll clench your teeth while reading. But it all works toward something, and you simply cannot stop reading to find out what it is.
As a reviewer, I certainly don’t want to give away too much, but if you enjoy reading about realistic family drama, set in both the city and countryside (Welsh countryside in this case, beautifully described I might add), or if you like love stories with some action to boot, along with plenty of animals to warm the heart, the Wild Water series is a good place to start in the Jan Ruth library.
D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.