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, “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 Bell 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Hogarth
I received an ARC of this book via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication data is April 29, 2014.
I had really high hopes for this book based on the synopsis and I couldn't wait to receive it. I must admit that I was sadly let down once I read it. While the synopsis hints at a tragic story, which it was, it does not allude to the fact that there is an aspect of the book that delves in to the spirit world. For this I feel that it was misrepresented.
There were good aspects to the book. I enjoyed the parts that detailed the path that Ruby had taken and her hardships prior to the present day. It was tragic and heartbreaking and an interesting read. These parts are what saw me through to the end of the story.
Where it loses momentum is when the "Dybou" enters in to the picture. It completely changes the spirit of the book and seems ill fitting. In my opinion it took away the impact of the storyline and the characters history and development. Many times I almost did not see the story through due to this aspect.
I always feel bad when I do not love a book particularly when I have received it for reviewing purposes however I must remain honest. I do not as a rule read the reviews prior to reading the book as I do not want to be influenced in my opinions and impression of a book. In the case of this book I did (while halfway through) and it appears that I am in the minority on this one. So far it has gotten rave reviews so I am in the minority with my opinion on this one. That is one of the amazing things is that no two people have exactly the same interests and outlooks when it comes to a book.
I sadly will not be recommending this read.