I finished readying Ru by Kim Thuy a few weeks ago. Normally I like to write about a book as soon as I’ve finished reading it, but this book was different for me. Ru is a finalist in the 2015 Canada Reads competition – and I can understand why it made it to the final five.
I started reading this book with high expectations. Everything I had read or heard about Ru and author Thuy had set me up to have very high expectations. I listened to a particularly fascinating interview with Thuy on the CBC Radio program C’est La Vie, which made me feel like I “knew” Thuy – she was so honest and open during the interview.
The theme for Canada Reads 2015 is: What is one book to break all barriers? My interpretation of this is that the panel is looking for a book that will help people better understand and relate to one another – to discard the judging based on appearance and voice and simply accept people for who they are. (I could be way off in this interpretation but this is what the theme means to me…)
Does Ru break all barriers?
While it is a deeply fascinating novel that is written from the heart, I don’t know if this is the book. This is not an easy read. It takes patience and commitment to read this novel. And once you’re done reading it, there are no “answers” or tidy solutions that you can apply to your day-to-day.
I would definitely recommend this book but I’m not sure this is a novel that will appeal to all readers.
Have you read Ru? What are your thoughts on this novel?
(I’m currently reading The Door is Open by Bart Campbell – this book didn’t make the final five 2015 list – but I was interested to read about Campbell’s experiences volunteering for at a Vancouver drop-in center and soup kitchen.)
(I also recently finished reading Sweetland by Michael Crummey. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will write a review in a few days.)