Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Shy, self-effacing newlywed Ruth (Nicholle Tom) manages to coerce her husband Artie (Stephen E. Miller) to move into the home of Ruth's domineering mother Maylene (Christine Lahti). Throughout Ruth's life, the bitter, vindictive Maylene has fed into her daughter's insecurities, making the girl feel homely and worthless. Perverse though it may seem, this was the only way that Maylene was ever able to express her love -- and the only way that she has been able to bind her daughter to her so that she herself will never feel lonely and abandoned. As the story progresses, Ruth grows progressively stronger and self-assertive, not only able but willing to heal the wounds of her troubled childhood. Conversely, her supposedly stalwart husband exposes his own weaknesses and failings. Based on the Oprah Book Club selection by Jane Hamilton, the made-for-TV The Book of Ruth debuted May 2, 2004, on CBS.