chapter 9 , the 8th or 9th paragraph
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Ruth is referring to her only friend in Suffolk named Francis. Frances's family was poor, but "back then it was a different kind of poor. A better kind of poor, but poor just the same. What I mean by that is you didn't need money as much, but you didn't have any neither." Some people in the town were so poor that they caught huge turtles to make soup. Ruth always had enough to eat in her house, but she was starving for love and affection, both of which were in short supply in the Shilsky household.