It just makes no sense to wait until he was an adult to tell him the truth about her past.
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Ruth had walked away from her past and assimilated into the culture of the people she loved. She didn't see herself as different, and she's cast off the Jewish background that had turned its back on her. She didn't open up to James until he backed her into a corner. It didn't matter to her.... it mattered to him.
The Color of Water