I can’t recommend this one


Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Book Review:  2 out of 5 star rating

This book is definitely not one that I can recommend.  I found it very difficult to read and to understand.  I had the feeling that I get when I read poetry that I can’t connect to.  I will give it two stars since I did enjoy the section of Ruby, Maggie and Ephram when they were young.  And the powerfulness of Ephram’s love for Ruby and his efforts on her behalf were very touching.  Also the eerie atmosphere was very well created with literary finesse.  But Ruby herself never came alive for me as a human being.  Her portrayal felt disjointed, almost as though she was just a vessel to be used in the book to show the brutality against African Americans during that time period.

I at first thought that the demonic possession of this young girl was only a figment of her imagination and mental illness caused by the horrific events of her life.  But no, the demon was an actual character in the book, as were the ghosts of the murdered children who lived in Ruby’s womb.   While that would not normally turn me away from a well-written book, I just never could connect with this book.   This is a bitter, angry book with no hope of redemption.   I’m not a reader of light, fluffy books and tend to lean towards the darker side of literary fiction, but this book was over and above what I can stand.  It was confusing and difficult to read.  This book was described by the publisher as a novel of passion and courage but I found it to be one of crude lust and hopelessness.  I’m very glad to put this novel behind me and to start reading something else to get this bad taste out of my mind.

I won this book in a LibraryThing giveaway.


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