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Extended Audio Sample A Virtuous Woman, by Kaye Gibbons Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,352 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Kaye Gibbons, Terry Beaver Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.


In A Virtuous Woman, Kaye Gibbons transcends her early promise, creating a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Complex, compact...The architecture of this novel is remarkable.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Kaye Gibbons shows us the secret core of a love that easily outlasts death. It’s invisible mastery—but mastery all the same.” 

    Reynolds Price, New York Times bestselling author of A Long and Happy Life

  • “A small masterpiece...Explores the depth and breadth of love with compassion and without sentimentality. We are left both stunned and wiser.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Gibbons writes forcefully and persuasively...A Virtuous Woman should do much to secure her reputation as an exceptionally gifted young writer.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Heads and shoulders above much of what passes as ‘fine literature’ today.”

    Boston Herald

  • “Enriches the possibility of literary prose...Kaye Gibbons’ work [is a] gift.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Readers who harbor hope for American fiction will have delighted in Ellen Foster and can now rejoice in Kaye Gibbons’ second novel...This is...an ode to joy.”

    Washington Times

  • “A haunting duet about love, compassion, and understanding. An eloquent and satisfying novel.”

    Cincinnati Post

  • “A vivid, unsentimental, powerful novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gibbons develops distinct voices for [her characters], and their reminiscences paint vibrant portraits of themselves and others. The story will prod readers to think about the nature of friendship and love.” 

    School Library Journal

  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection, October 1997
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Traci | 2/18/2014

    " This book was recommended by my sister. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. I think this might be one of those books that your view of it depends upon the circumstances of your life when you read it. Good writing, interesting characters, but just didn't grab me for where I am right now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rebecca Ashcraft | 2/16/2014

    " Here's a quick read for Gibbons fans - more like a long short story than a short novel. Although the main characters' accents got a little annoying at times, I would still have liked to read more about their lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Callie | 2/11/2014

    " A small book, quick read, describing the lives a married couple. Actually, I can't really say it describes their lives because it seems more to flit across the surface than to delve deep. It read to me like a textbook example of what a short novel should be as far as structure. Told in vernacular language from the view points of husband and wife. A good book, not too exciting. Nothing to write home about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Donna | 2/11/2014

    " Blinking Jack Stokes & Ruby Pitt Woodrow found each other & hung on for dear life. A great story of compassion, love & understanding. "

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