Read reviews on Goodreads

"Ruth is a book I highly recommend to book clubs who are looking for spirited discussion of the social dynamics that affect us all... The author has mastered the craft of creating characters with the particular idiosyncrasies that make them believable individuals, each and every one. She makes us know them, care about them, hear and respond to what they have to say."

Sandra Shwayder Sanchez,

"Marlene S. Lewis's Ruth is in the tradition of women's novels featuring plucky heroines who triumph over adversity, but it is much more than that. Set in the 1950s and '60s in Papua and Australia, Ruth is about the negative effects of racism upon both native peoples and those of European descent...English born Lewis shows love and concern for her adopted land in this her first novel."  
 Ruth Latta, 

about the story of



What a pleasure it is to be talking about Ruth as a completed work. Ruth, the main character by the same name as the novel, has lived in my mind for the best part of five years. I must say, it is quite liberating to be releasing her into the world to make her own way.

Ruth follows the life of a typically naïve young girl growing up in Papua and Australia during the 1950s. I say typically naïve because when I think back to myself at that time, I and most of my friends knew next to nothing about life compared to the knowledgeable teenagers of today. It was a different time then and life could be quite unforgiving, as Ruth discovers.

Having committed the unthinkable, Ruth is cut adrift from her family and forced to survive as best she can, alone. Whenever we face personal disasters, there are often lifelines that present themselves in the way of new friendships. If we are lucky, these friendships can have the potential to ease the pain and nurture us through whatever it is we must endure. Ruth’s situation is no exception. The key, though, is to be open to those offers of help and to be discerning in the ones we choose.

Ruth discovers the value of friendship early on, and this is what sustains her as she learns to survive in an often hostile environment with her wonderful baby boy, Stewart. Her biggest fear is being forced to give Stewart up for adoption; it would surely be the most sensible option for a young girl in her situation, wouldn’t it?

Ruth is set in the spectacularly beautiful land of Papua, prior to and during its transition to independence from the colonial administration of Australia. The other main settings are the poorer areas of inner Sydney and the magnificent, wide open plains of New South Wales. I find each of these settings, and the people that inhabit them, fascinating, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Ruth is my first novel and I would love to hear that you have enjoyed reading about the characters in Ruth’s life and found yourself intrigued by how this young girl overcomes life’s obstacles to build a better life for her children. Please feel free to drop me a line through the Contact form.

On a final note, I must thank everyone who has helped Ruth grow from an idea into a book.  In no particular order these include, my editor, proof-reader, publisher and a very dear friend who shared many memories of life in Papua. I’d also like to thank in advance, everyone who rushes out to buy a copy of Ruth!

Best wishes






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