The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special ebook edition of Ruby by Cynthia Bond features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes, highlighted within the text; a reading group guide; and audio clips read by the author (supported devices only).
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.
This book was good but very dark. Some parts were shocking.45
Kept me interested all the way thru. I was left feeling kind of empty at the end. REALLY would’ve liked some closure, as you’re pretty much left with none, but I enjoyed the journey.45
You cannot unread this book. It will leave a permanent impression on you. It made me look at men differently. It made me cry. Made me sick to my stomach. Gave me nightmares. I would tell you to read it anyway.55
Absolutely loved it! Didn't want it to end, however I loved they way Ruby and Ephram evolved. I want more55
This author has a gift for descriptive writing. I'll admit that in the first several pages, I thought to myself, "Jeez, she's laying on mighty thick with all this description...." Lol It was a little much right at first, but then I guess it just found It's rhythm because the story soon took off and it became pure poetry. And I can't compare her to Toni Morrison at all because I don't particularly like her writing. I felt Beloved was just all over the place and odd. But Ruby? This story was beautiful. And ugly. But also wonderful and powerful. I found myself staying up until 2 a.m. each night, knowing I had to be up at 7 to get the kids off to school, but I could not put it down! I was very happy to read that this is just the 1st of what's to be a three part saga, and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the next book!55
What an amazing, hauntingly beautiful work of art. I wasn't ready for the story to end. I want more. The characters come alive. It's as if you are watching them from close by and can read their thoughts and experience their emotions. Love this book.55
At one and the same time, one of the most powerful and delicate, metaphorical and gritty, beautiful and ugly, simple and profound books I have ever read. At times difficult to read, yet I couldn't put it down until I finished the last page. A book I will carry in my heart for a long time to come.55
I had to give a star, Apple, but in truth, it deserves a zero for it's value as a book. This book, Ruby, was never popular when it came out a year ago. Never heard any hype about it when published. I wonder why, yet, I'm sure it will have a virulent resurgence only because of one celebrity's zeal over a story that mirror's and is in literary competition with "Fifty Shades Grey". At least "Shades" was segregated and had a warning. This novel will effect your mind and not in a good way. An "ear worm" as the British say, yet to clarify, that saying refers to a song that plays in your head over and over. But the principal stands as to its effect. I'm so tired of Oprah's story of her childhood eking out through all aspects of her projects and it's impetus. It seems within her first book club, this book "story " , Ruby, was already written with better literary taste called , "Beloved", by Toni Morrison,( who by the way, can put you to sleep by the peaceful cadence of her voice in her audiobook's readings. ) This book , Ruby, regardless of your age, will sear your mind due to one aptly astute depiction of it as being , " too graphic and pornographic". That is from just an average reader. On Good Reads, even men say it's way too strong in thematic prose and scenes. Clue? The late David Foster Wallace once said in an interview that has stuck with me. ( I'm paraphrasing , but the message is the same . ) He explained that if you are constantly picking up books that are dark, it's a check of what's inside you that you shouldn't get comfortable with. Especially if you find satisfaction with the book, it's a check of something not good and a sign to move on. Hard words, but truth is better than lying to one's self , especially if you seek to become progressive inside rather than apply more work on the outside. If you were looking for a good book, this would of found its way into your hands long before this week. Probably because it has more scenes of incredible violence and graphics rape, who wants to read about that. This book certainly stands alone in that genre like no other. Including their is also unnecessary vulgarity. The theme of the love making a heroic attempt to saving Ruby is over written with the other detritus that blankets it's effect. Some like to be warned. Other's find it has no effect upon them. This is my personal impression. Do we as a society need to feed more on this type of demoralized way of thinking? Particularly through the real estate of one celebrity's take on life and , books. Quite frankly, we have enough immorality in this world. We do not not need to read prison books.15