Publication Date: 04/05/2023 ISBN: 9780241986240 Category:

Ruth & Pen

Emilie Pine

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 04/05/2023 ISBN: 9780241986240 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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The brilliant debut novel from Emilie Pine, author of the international bestseller Notes to Self

Dublin, 7 October 2019

One day, one city, two women: Ruth and Pen. Neither knows the other, but both are asking the same questions: how to be with others and how, when the world won’t make space for you, to be with yourself?

Ruth’s marriage to Aidan is in crisis. Today she needs to make a choice – to stay or not to stay, to take the risk of reaching out, or to pull up the drawbridge. For teenage Pen, today is the day the words will flow, and she will speak her truth to Alice, to ask for what she so desperately wants.

Deeply involving, poignant and radiantly intelligent, it is a portrait of the limits of grief and love, of how we navigate our inner and outer landscapes, and the tender courage demanded by the simple, daily quest of living.

‘Emilie Pine is one of the most important new voices in Irish Literature. Everything she writes is imbued with wisdom’ David Park

‘Emilie Pine’s debut novel is ambitious, poignant and playful, with a feminist nod to Joyce . . . it is as surprising and playful as it is ambitious and relevant’ Irish Independent

‘This is an exciting, warm and engaging debut that signals, one hopes, even greater things to come’ The Business Post


Publisher Review

Mesmerising . . . I became completely immersed in this emotional, intimate read * Good Housekeeping * [An] uplifting debut novel . . . joy is a vital ingredient in Ruth & Pen * The Observer * The debut novel from the author of the personal essay collection Notes to Self is a poignant, raw exploration of the courage needed to find your space in the world * i * Impressive . . . Pine explores with great acuity and tenderness the restorative, capacious nature of love. A wise and lovely book * Daily Mail * Pine makes her chapters playful, writing with a friendly curiousness that brings to mind Ali Smith . . . Pine's measured yet tender juxtaposition of the women's days doesn't draw overly neat parallels so much as prove that one needs the other - younger needs older, optimist needs pessimist, introvert needs extrovert. And our opposites might help us find clarity * i * [Ruth & Pen] finds heartbreaking beauty in our everyday lives . . . There is a real tenderness in the way in which Pine writes about the teenage girls in the novel * The Irish Times * Pine reinforces her reputation as one of the most empathetic writers in the country * The Irish Examiner * There's no doubting the novel's basic integrity; its warmth, its undogmatic interest in ordinary lives, and the impressive range of its imaginative sympathies -- Kevin Power * The Irish Times * Moving and raw . . . Pine's ability to enter the heads of two such different characters is a sure sign of literary promise * The Sunday Times (Ireland) * This book is an intimate portrait of love and grief, and the tender, fragile courage required just to live each day * Irish Country Magazine * A confident walk through the lives of others, two women seeking their place in the world and a peace in themselves * RTE Guide *

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