Ruth Moore's Legacy
"Miss Moore is an author who has used her Maine heritage to create novels of enduring worth; who has recorded and used in her work the speech of the Maine coast fisherman with greater accuracy than any other writer that we know; who has created characters by the village-full as memorable as those of Dickens; who has seen in her own people both the meanness and the grandeur of which man is capable; who has used her Maine coast people to both extol magnanimity and to condemn narrowness.”
Donald Mortland, Unity College
"It is the earnest, earthy quality of Ruth Moore’s prose and her unfailing ear for the Downeast vernacular that distinguishes her writings, both her books and ballads.”
Edgar Allen Beam, Maine Times
“Moore was posing the questions that many writers and social critics are asking at the end of the twentieth century: What if knowing where you were from, your people and your bioregion, really meant that you knew something about yourself? What if we revised our American frontier mentality and, instead of always moving on, we settled down and addressed the problems in our own place?”
Jennifer Craig Pixley
“What was it like to be born that woman with a mind, burning with curiosity, burning with passion for poetry and philosophy?...This is American realism at its finest.”
Jennifer Craig Pixley
"What child--or grown-up, either--would not feel his neck prickle, opening a tattered and salt-stained book and realizing that this very page was the one held to the ship’s lantern and the description read, while anxious eyes tried to make out sea-marks through the storm?”
“Moore deftly adds action, suspense, humor and plot twists to make this a fascinating tale of Maine families in a time of person distress and challenge.
"The Weir...has scenes of almost idyllic beauty and scenes of wild action. But essentially it is concerned with people, strong, weak, bawdy, mischievous, cunning, gallant--but always compellingly real and vital.
Francis Ludlow, Retail Bookseller
"It gains in momentum as do waves in a southeast tempest, billowing higher and higher before they crash down on the rocks, and like those storm waves, "The Weir" has the same power to swoop you into its turbulent atmosphere."
The Boston Globe
"Comprehensive, accurate, and sympathetic...I may say I have almost never written an author about his or her book, but I can't resist telling Miss Moore how much I admire hers."
Mary Ellen Chase
"A novel pulsing with life, racing emotions, burning hatred and passion unpent."
Outstanding Books, Baker & Taylor
"One of the finest novels to be written about the Maine coast...it has all the stark realism of stinging salt water spray."
Springfield Daily News
"The Weir" is flavored with authenticity and sound, colorful climaxes--a good combination for a good novel."
The Lodi News-Sentinel
"Miss Moore is lavish in characterization, and minor characters linger in the memory."
The Miami Herald
"It is a Maine book, a rewarding book; and one that may help outsiders better to understand our coast folks and their oddities, as well as their simple greatness."
"What a pleasure of recognition it gives you, doesn't it, to see those really very decent, life-enjoying people, humorous people, represented as they are."
"These are the people I know...every one of them is real."
Mary Ellen Chase
"The novel has a certain freshness and simplicity that is delightful."
The Dayton Herald
"Wholesome and attractive...There is tragedy, there is sorrow, and there is romance."
The Watertown Times
"As Down East as pan-dowdy...I surmised 'Spoonhandle' was middlin', but the more I munch it I think it's more'n middlin'."
The Chicago Sun
"As clean and refreshing as the salt winds that blow over the Maine shore...a fascinating, completely satisfactory story."
Mineola Family Reading Club
The Fire Balloon
“The human elements of this book exert an attraction as compelling as that of the sea which is their limitless backdrop."
“Nobody but a salt-water woman could write of the sea and the seashore people with such ease and complete understanding."
“You will search long among current novels for a more richly human story than this."
“The Spoonhandle country comes to life again in this beautiful and heartening novel about a Maine family."
“Here is a book flooded with local
color--native customs, geography and vivid physical descriptions."
“The writing in 'The Fire Balloon' is direct and startlingly true; it stands up in the mind and speaks clearly, and often coldly. Moments of seeing...are the focus."
“It's doubtful...if any American writer has ever done a better job of communicating a people, their talk, their thoughts, their geography and their way of life."
John Gould, New York Times
“The sight and sound and smell of Maine’s blue water are in this novel-- a deeply understanding account of the tragedies and triumphs of average people everywhere. It has warmth, humor, gentleness, dignity.”
The Boston Globe
"Ruth Moore can write about the smells of a Maine kitchen so that your mouth waters. You feel close to the sea. You watch the sky for weather signs. You can smell the old rope in the Ellis fishhouse...A warm, wholesome, satisfying, adult story.”
Lewis Gannett, New York Herald-Tribune
“The relentless pounding of the sea is the background for this very human story of a seagoing family whose own undercurrents were as violent as the sea itself...Ruth Moore can make people live.”
“A story like this is inspiring in its way. It is a straight-forward, honest story of robust people, hard, sea-faring folk, with fine family pride and respect for the good, simple things of life.”
Anna C. Hunter
“Absorbing, meaningful, universal in values--a story of great courage and heartache, of laughter and the pranks of children, of a boy growing into manhood and a woman finding love and fulfillment, of the sea itself--beautiful and terrible.”
Alice Dixon Bond, The Boston Herald
“Candlemas Bay is no mawkish, sentimental tale. It’s a mature, hearty story whose people live and act and talk like human beings.”
"Ruth Moore’s writing has rugged integrity and vigor. Few narratives in modern American writing approach this book in literary skill, factual honesty and suspense. When Ruth Moore writes of the sea, the reader cannot forget what he has read.”
“The story grows more impelling as it progresses, the author imparting that new expectancy which real life holds day by day, the immense importance of little crises, the revival of hope after tragedies, the healing power of laughter over the comical and that driving force within men and women which lends endurance physically and morally."
Anna C. Hunter
A Fair Wind Home
“It doesn't stand still...Full-fashioned storytelling with a full quota of personalities and predicaments."
"You will watch the growing cities of two hundred years ago, see the busy life of Boston Harbor, know the savage thrill of a forest aflame, feel the vitality, tension, hardships and pleasures of a new country opening up before your eyes.”
Unknown Book Magazine
“Like Mrs. Moore's other books, this has the charm and the change and the challenge the Atlantic Ocean offers during its various moods.”
“This is not the ordinary historical novel of swashbuckling adventure, devious intrigue and lurid romance but rather the quietly competent piece of work one has come to expect from Ruth Moore."
Bestsellers, University of Scranton
“[Ruth Moore] knows the beauty of sun-tipped waves, and rocky shores, the raucous violence of wind-lashing storms, the pine-fragrant quiet of tranquil coves, and the ambitions, the hatreds, the strong affections, and stirring dramas of the human heart with a profound and intimate knowledge, all of which she translates into vivid and moving terms through the art of a born story teller and her own innate love of people and place."
Alice Dixon Bond
Speak to the Winds
“Thirty years later, 'Speak to the Winds' remains the most penetrating, accurate analysis of island dynamics I have yet come across. It's tough-minded, but with a compassion and wry humor that comes from actually having been there."
"The state of Maine has a way of taking over when it's the background for a book, and Ruth Moore is one girl who knows how to succumb most handsomely to the fact. She has an uncanny way of making you smell the spruce and see the blue water at hand."
“The book is full of excellent descriptive passages. The reader braces against the gales, hears the roar of dashing waves, smells and tastes the hearty New England cooking. ”
“Miss Moore tells the story...with compassion and sure knowledge; with a strong feeling for the island and its wild beauty, and a keen ear for the talk of its tough, vigorous people. And the people themselves are robust and individual, at once pretty and heroic.
LA Free Press
The Walk Down Main Street
"Miss Moore...has an intuitive understanding of young people and a deep appreciation of the intent of the older, along with a reverence for the accomplishments of the past....'Walk Down Main Street' is a fine, colorful story and is exhilaratingly representative of the fibre and spirit of Maine."
Marion Flood French
"In revealing, as she richly entertains, the innermost thoughts and emotions of a small town, Ruth Moore lets us see them in ourselves--the more poignantly because it could easily be your town or the town down the line, caught up in a fever of excitement, with values turned upside down."
The Boston Herald
“The boys, with their all-important basketballs, are your own, the aging parent that is both your life-long ally and your sudden enemy, the fear and the love that are our vulnerability and our strength, these are clearly and warmly here. It's a good book to read, wherever you live and whoever you are."
"A completely objective account of a way of life that is critically in need of rehabilitation, but where an unyielding will to survive still confers an impressive dignity on many. Ruth Moore’s examination of the untidy conflicts of social collapse is characterized by perceptiveness, generosity, and humor.”
"A violent, dramatic and ingenious plot which the author handles with a deftness that belies its complexity...Readers who have come to expect from Miss Moore stories of dramatic impact, luxuriant characterization and compassionate sensitivity to human foibles will not be disappointed by ‘Second Growth.’ This novel is sound as a blueberry.”
David E. Philips
“An honest piece of storytelling...In the rugged company of Faulkner, Caldwell, and Steinbeck, Ruth Moore holds her own without seeming to raise her voice in strident urgency.”
The Saturday Review
“No one ever evokes more truly the despoiling of the countryside than Miss Moore or is more conscious of all the hidden animal life of swamp and seashore.”
“Miss Moore has made this story almost a mystery-chase novel. She provides a cast of fascinating characters including a memorable little 10-year-old monster far too wise for her years. You’ll stay with it to the very end.”
The Latest Books
“Miss Moore draws exact pictures of her Downright DownEasters, for this story covers all the craggy edges of human facilities.”
Grace H. Loomis
The Sea Flower
"'The Sea Flower'...displays again the Moore mastery of the story-teller's technique and the brilliant success in creating young fictional young people who burn in the recollection...Miss Moore makes us pay attention and teaches us to care."
Down East Bookshelf
"Excellent characterization and a well plotted story filled with warmth and humor make this recommended reading, especially for the girls."
School Library Journal
"Ruth Moore is a literary Toquemada, torturing readers by filling them with a longing for the craggy but carefree life of coastal New England.
“Miss Moore has a way with people...'The Sea Flower' rivets the attention and searches the heart's recesses."
"Miss Moore has a way of insidiously invading her reader so that before he is aware of her spell he is anxiously turning pages to find out what happens next."
Chicago Daily News
“Miss Moore produces a book written with rich adult perspective, intense understanding of the spirit of youth, and superb command of humankind's close-hand needs. It's a dog-gone good, vivid yarn-spinning, hearty, with Downeast savor a-plenty."
The Gold and Silver Hooks
"Ruth Moore is a magnificent storyteller!...Her setting is so perfect you can almost smell the ocean nearby, see the town streets and walk the country hills. If one could say anyone writes in brilliant living color, Ruth Moore must be a top candidate."
"Characters are drawn with deft bold strokes, some of them with lusty humor, others with pathos, some with warm sympathy...The book is written in Miss Moore's usual vigorous and vivid style and shows her keen ear and memory for downeast idiom."
LaRue Spiker, The Bar Harbor Times
“A fine family saga for readers who like an old-fashioned novel, tinged with salt air and rich with the struggle of life's problems."
“A saga of New England family life through generations and a portrait of a woman both blessed and cursed by personal integrity...Her story is both tender and violent, and Ruth Moore tells it with warmth and humor, irony and deep insight."
Personal Book Guide
Lizzie and Caroline
"Ruth Moore is a good writer, a craftsman, her language full of the saltiness of her Maine background...[her] characters are irresistible; the two plots pure adventure."
The Edmonton Journal
"Ruth Moore is without peer when it comes to writing a good, engrossing story of the Maine coast, the sea, and a bunch of people whom she always manages to fit into their proper places in the plot...One of Ruth Moore's very good books."
The Lewiston Daily Sun
“A fascinating story of land and sea. Do read it."
"The two stories get together in a wonderfully satisfying and exciting ending. Don't miss this splendid tale."
“Ruth Moore...has a nice touch with spunky oldsters and youngsters. When she stirs them together, seasons with delphinium and ocean breezes, the result is suspenseful fun and good old-fashioned satisfaction for everyone."
The Dinosaur Bite
"[Ruth Moore's] talent for creating believable and earthy Downeast characters is still very much in evidence. Reading a Ruth Moore novel is rather like watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie in that even the most minor characters are fleshed out and not just stock wooden stereotypes."
Maine Book Review
"The excitement in [Moore's] tale and the realism of the characters combine to make her latest novel satisfying reading."
Cindy Howell, Des Moines Sunday Register
“'The Dinosaur Bite' is as elemental as tidal forces, as the sting and strength of wind from the sea, and has moments as balmy as a day of easy sailing in the sun, and as burning as hot summer sun."
Catharine Cates, The Courier-Gazette
“This is Ruth Moore country, a salty province rich in the eccentrics and everyday adventure. It's a great place for an escape, both for Ruth Moore's hero and for her reader."
Sarah Walked Over the Mountain
"Ms. Moore's finest achievement to date...the Gotts Island native is now writing at the top of her very considerable powers...'Sarah Walked Over the Mountain' excels in every aspect. It is bound to enhance Ruth Moore's reputation as today's foremost fictional interpreter of Maine coast life."
Down East Enterprise
"'Sarah Walked Over the Mountain' is a tapestry of evil and violence...Ruth Moore...has mounted a yarn of raw realism in silhouette against a stark Maine setting."
The Bar Harbor Times
Cold as a Dog and the Wind Northeast
"These are first-rate ballads, reckless and real, with shivers of northeast wind on the back of the neck. Ruth Moore has given them that whittling-down with her own skill that ballads usually get by being sung or recited for a hundred years or so."
"These are tales of the Maine coast, but are in the ballad tradition of the strange, the macabre, the eerie, and one need not know the sea to enjoy them."
Adult Books for Young People
“'There's many and many a wild and maybe-true tale of men who went to sea...and of the sea monsters and mermaids who greeted them. Here they are, in six rousing ballads--moving, terrifying, funny, tender--with an occasional twist that brings you up short, by a writer having a perfectly wonderful time and passing the wonder on to you."
Portland Press Telegram
“Salty, humorous, with a touch of the spectral in which death, or the supernatural, is the interloper."
Virginia Kirkus' Service
The Tired Apple Tree
When Foley Craddock Tore Off My
"When Moore's reputation as a writer is grappled with somewhere down the line, it may be her ballads which finally come out on top as the greatest display of her genius. [The Tired Apple Tree] contains a number of superb examples."
The Bar Harbor Times
"This wonderful book is treasure beyond treasure...this is the way short stories oughta be wrote, guys."
“[Ruth Moore and Eleanor Mayo's] stories contain humor, innocence, mystery, sadness, and a vibrant truthfulness that appeals to all readers."