Ruth in The Night Hawks

Today it struck self (for the first time) that the name of the main protagonist in this series is Biblical. Even her cat’s name, Flint, seems significant.

In The Night Hawks, Ruth and Nelson seem to have finally arrived at a kind of prickly accommodation: they are co-parents to their daughter, Kate, but Ruth knows she will live the rest of her life alone.

One of the best parts of this series are the descriptions of the salt marsh around Ruth’s cottage. It lies at the edge of sea and land, where her only neighbors are an Australian aboriginal poet who travels the world giving readings and lectures, and a family from London who use their house only as an occasional weekend get-away. Here she is, taking one of her solitary walks:

She remembers Cathbad telling her once that, in extreme stress, we often imagine that we are accompanied by another person, a companion or a protector. This might explain stories from the First World War of soldiers sensing an unknown presence, often described as an angel, marching beside them through the mud and the horror. But today there’s only Ruth. She moves quickly, stepping firmly over the shifting ground.

The Night Hawks, pp. 142 – 143

This is becoming her favorite book of the Ruth Galloway books she’s read thus far. You don’t even need to read the earlier books to come to a full appreciation of what Ruth has achieved here: as a woman, a teacher, and mother. These are not, actually, standard mysteries. They are more about a woman and the personal choices she makes, over and over again.

Another treat of this series: Cathbad and Judy. Whoa, things have turned out well for our favorite Druid! Love how domestic he is in this.

Stay tuned.

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