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Ruby (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) av Cynthia Bond
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Ruby (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) (utgåvan 2015)

av Cynthia Bond (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
69711324,047 (3.72)108
"Ephram Jenkins 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," is already quite damaged, but Ephram is forcibly drawn to her. As soon as she becomes a young woman and has any power of her own, Ruby flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York City. Years later, when a funeral forces her to return home, 30-year-old Ruby will find 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, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised and stood by him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy"--… (mer)
Medlem:Melwilk
Titel:Ruby (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)
Författare:Cynthia Bond (Författare)
Info:Random House Large Print (2015), Edition: Large Print, 464 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read, owned-to-be-read

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Ruby av Cynthia Bond

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This is the story of Ephram Jennings' love for Ruby Bell in a small town ironically called Liberty. Ephram, the son of Reverend Jennings, has loved Ruby since he was a child. Ruby has had a tragic childhood, she has been abused and forced into child prostitution so as soon as she can escape she flees to New York, hoping to find her mother. Years later, Ruby receives a telegram from her cousin which brings her back to Liberty. Ruby is labelled a crazy woman and a Jezebel as the menfolk waste no time taking advantage of her.

Ephram lives with his sister, Celia, who has cared for him since their mother was institutionalised. Ephram finally plucks up the courage to visit Ruby, much to the disgust of Celia. Ephram finds Ruby living in squalor and rolls up his sleeves and starts cleaning both Ruby and the house. It is at this point in the book that the most memorable scene for me is described. Ephram has washed, and is untangling, Ruby's hair when he experiences visions and emotions brought on by each strand of hair that has lived through one of Ruby's experiences. This really was an amazing piece of writing and was described so clearly that I couldn't help but feel quite emotional at the end of it. The thought that our hair holds on to our feelings during different events in our life was quite inspired.

Instigated by his sister, the people of the town try to lure Ephram away from Ruby with disturbing consequences. Ruby's struggle with her sanity and the ghosts of her past was at times sad but I also felt enraged at the people who made her feel so unworthy. I was delighted that Ruby's strength appeared in full force at the end.

This is a book not to be read lightly. It is incredibly disturbing in the descriptions of the abuse and sad that these mindless events tried to shape the woman that Ruby became, to the point where she almost lost her mind. Ruby may be a work of fiction, but there will have been many Ruby's not just in the deep south of America but throughout the world.

I received this e-book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
Skip it. The writing is so pretentious that I wanted to shoot myself. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
Oh, my heart breaks at Ruby’s story. Her introduction at such a young age into prostitution and the lack of support she got from church-going adults probably was probably quite common not only in the back communities of rural communities, like this one in east Texas. But an unlikely hero with limited intellect sees the true Ruby and his decision to support her shows the power of love. This is a debut novel and an Oprah 2.0 book. The author writes in a style that pulls the reader in and gives Ruby and Ephram immense depth. ( )
  brangwinn | Oct 13, 2019 |
I recently read a book called, My First Novel - tales of woe and glory as edited by Alan Watt. It is a collection of writing experiences from published authors. In it, I read Cynthia Bond's experience writing Ruby. It was intriguing.

Then I saw that Ruby was on Oprah's Book Club. Now, I love Oprah. I love books. Oprah's Book Club is a wonderful thing. But I have had a couple of regrets with it. I'm talking to you One Hundred Years of Solitude! I hated that book!!

But I digress.

Ruby is a heartbreaking and horrific book. Yet it is also profound and moving at the same time.

The book tells the tale of Ruby Bell. She has returned to her hometown of Liberty, Texas. She left for New York city in the 1950's and returns to the small, hateful and judgmental town and faces her past.

There is also Ephram Jennings. He has been in love with Ruby since he was a child. Ephram is a grown man who lives with his older city, Celia. Celia is an orderly, cooking, strong-willed, "church mother" elect woman who has raised Ephram since the committal of their mother and the death of their father. Ephram calls her "mama" and pretty much does as she and the town expects.

Ruby is not liked by the town. She seems crazy and is a woman of ill-repute. She's been had! A lot. Spirits are drawn to her and she lives in dismal conditions taking care of her spirit children and receiving food from a local woman all while being haunted and terrorized by an evil spirit.

This is a story of redemption and redemptive love. Ephram struggles against the will of the entire town, his church and his strong-willed sister to try to be there for Ruby.

Cynthia Bond's writing will make you think of Toni Morrison or Zora Neale Hurston and maybe even Alice Walker. Her prose is beautiful. She can really turn a phrase.

However, there are times when I was reading this and thought of Stephen King. You know how his novels feature a small town with underlying evil things, people and secrets that all converge because of some circumstance that brings about a fight between good and evil? That's how this novel felt to me.

The further you read, the more haunting it becomes. There were a couple of times that I had to put the book down because I was either terrified or the scene was so horrific that I recoiled in disgust.

Yes, this book contains disgusting things. There is abuse, child rape, voodoo and murder. There is some gruesome goings on in the town of Liberty!!

But again, there is also redemptive love. There is one line in the book where Ephram tells Ruby "If you can bear to have lived it, I can at least bear to listen." Ephram's ability to listen and actually see Ruby really warms the heart.

It also reminds me of all that our people have survived. All of the undiagnosed mental health issues our community faces and all of the secrets that our community contains.

Again, this book is horrific. But if Cynthia Bond can bear to have written it, and she discussed how hard it was in the book My First Novel, then I could bear to read it and testify to its greatness.

But make sure you read it in daylight. ( )
  tdpmoore | Aug 8, 2019 |
Finishing this book, I was stunned speechless. I still am. I have never quite read a book like this before. It is horrifying, brutal, honest, and underneath the layers, a book of hope. Bond has created a main character in Ruby that I never will forget. She is a complex, difficult, mysterious and compelling. Bond's writing style takes a bit to adjust to, with sentence fragments, but the prose will carry you away. This isn't an easy book to read, and it is one begging to be discussed. ( )
  Oregonpoet | Jul 12, 2019 |
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Amazing read! One of the best books I've ever read - hand's down.
tillagd av Julia_Lauder | ändraRuby by Cynthia Bond, Julia Lauder (Apr 2, 2014)
 
Raw in its power and visceral in its impact, Ruby is not a read for the faint of heart. Scenes of graphic violence and abuse are dispensed generously, albeit with stunning prose. Bond’s style of writing is as magical as an East Texas sunrise, with phrases so deftly carved, the reader is often distracted from the brutality described by the sheer beauty of the language.

If Ruby is a love story (and it would be hard to argue otherwise) then it is one where shattered remnants of self-love must be reassembled before another kind of love can survive. And like the author’s own story, Ruby’s is the story of a woman who has found a way to live with the unbearable, who has stared her truth in the face and lived to tell the tale.
 
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Ruby Bell was a constant reminder of what could befall a woman whose shoe heels were too high.
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

"Ephram Jenkins 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," is already quite damaged, but Ephram is forcibly drawn to her. As soon as she becomes a young woman and has any power of her own, Ruby flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York City. Years later, when a funeral forces her to return home, 30-year-old Ruby will find 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, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised and stood by him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy"--

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