Tuesday, July 14, 2015

4 Out of 5 Stars for Ruby by Cynthia Bond.....

Ruby by Cynthia Bond is a harrowing read & sad tale. Not for faint of heart.
My Review:
Ruby is a harrowing, difficult read because of both the sad story and the period dialogue, but it touches the reader deeply in some places the reader may not dare go. The subject matter is profound with no holds barred. At times, I could cry while reading it. At other times, I wanted to cheer Ephram and Ruby on. I won’t say anymore. I don’t want to give anything away. It’s a story you won’t read about every day. I wouldn’t advise it for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, at times, the writer lost me without clear drawn lines between the present and flashbacks, which caused me to go back and re-read portions here and there to ensure what timeframe the characters were in.

Overall, this books is beautifully written despite the horrible subject matter, though some of the writing seemed forced and superfluous.  For me, I prefer books that entertain and make me laugh. I hate depressing tales like this that force me to go on, but I have no regrets over reading Ruby. It’s a touching story that continually pulls at the heartstrings. I applaud the author for giving an ending instead of letting the reader guess for his/her self how it ended. Ruby is distressing, but well worth a read.
From amazon.com:                      
The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection
The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her, this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the 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, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. 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 loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom’s Juke, to Celia Jennings’s kitchen, where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.
About the author:
Writer and educator Cynthia Bond has taught writing to homeless and at-risk youth throughout Los Angeles for over fifteen years. Cynthia attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, then moved to New York and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Cynthia acted for many years in New York with the Negro Ensemble Company. A PEN Rosenthal Fellow, Cynthia founded the Blackbird Writing Collective in 2011. At present, Bond teaches therapeutic writing at Paradigm Malibu Adolescent Treatment Center. Her novel RUBY is published by Hogarth Press, a division of Random House in April 2014. A native of East Texas, she lives in Los Angeles with her daughter.
Until next review, stay safe. Smile! Show compassion to others. Be nice to one another. Read a book and pass it on. Review it. Cheers!
S.J. Francis

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

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