Book Review: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review.

Book synopsis - Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell, "the kind of pretty it hurt to look at," has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city -- the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village -- all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, the thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlfriend. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyal to the sister who raised him and a chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

This was the first book I chose to read from the Blogging for Books program. I did not read any reviews prior to beginning, and in all honesty chose this particular novel due to its status as an Oprah book club choice. I will not not lie, this was a hard read. The story line is dark, and filled with detailed violence in a small town setting. There is abuse, anger and voodoo. It is a book that you will likely pick up and put bak down many times before finishing it because it is much too difficult to try and read it all in one sitting. I considered abandoning on multiple occasions, but there was something about the two main characters, Ephram and Ruby, that made me continue on. There was hope between them in a story filled with despair.

The book itself was beautifully written. The imagery and descriptions bring her story to life, sometimes in a way you won't want them to. Overall, I am conflicted about my feelings of this book. I think it was too much for me, and if you're looking for a nice, easy read then skip this altogether. However, this is only my opinion. There are many other reviews out there on this story and I would encourage you to read them before beginning this book. 

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