"Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles" is, as far as I know, Frances Garrood's fourth novel, and also the fourth I have read. In short: I think it is my favourite!
I really enjoyed meeting the cast of characters. Everyone came across fully fleshed-out, with their own personality. Most of the story takes place at a more or less rundown country house with a collection of ramshackle outbuildings. While I don't think I could stand the unkempt state of the house, it is described in a way that makes it feel like a true home.
At first, I did not have much sympathy for Ruth. A grown-up woman who is capable of holding a regular job and a flat ends up with an unplanned pregnancy - in this day and age, that is simply not necessary.
But Ruth is the kind of person you can not help liking after a while, although she never tries to elicit compassion from anyone.
Circumstances make it impossible for her to stay at her own flat or move back in with her parents, and so there is just one option: her uncles' country house.
Now, these uncles are as important to the story as Ruth herself. I won't tell you more about them, only that I hope you will like them as much as I did, and I am sure Frances had a lot of fun with them while she was writing about them.
After many more things happening - some of them dramatic, others comical -, the main storyline ends neatly in a way that should satisfy every reader. The only thing I would have liked to know more about was the main "miracle" (again, I am not going to tell you more as I want you to read the book for yourselves). There is hardly any mention of it anymore in the last third or so of the book, and the natural (or supernatural?) cause is not revealed.
So, please go and buy this book - and then read it. I don't believe you will be disappointed. There are enough bits that you may find funny (or should that be witty?), and enough to inspire some deeper thoughts, if you're so inclined - it depends on you, as the book has it all.
For my reviews of her other books, simply type "Garrood" in the search box in the upper left corner of my blog. If you want to visit Frances' own blog, click here.