Happy Birthday Book Club / Ruby

happy BirthdayIt’s our birthday this month. A year since the first Neath Book Club meeting and still going strong. We have read a variety of books some good, some not so, some unreadable and some unputdownable!!  Trawl through and read about some the books we have read to date. Our current book is ‘Ruby’ and I’m finding it very difficult to read. There is a very tender love story underlying the gruesome, brutal violation of black women and children by vile, low-life southern scum! This kind of violation makes me so angry that I am unable to read the words on the pages. However, the book is well written and the characters are brought to life with every word. These words echo my thoughts exactly.

‘Exquisite, juxtaposing horrific imagery with dreamy evocative lyricism.’ (Lambda Literary)

So plenty to talk about on Wednesday night. We will be going to the Celtic Lodge (some great reviews on Trip Adviser. Well done Caren and Will!) for food, maybe few drinks and plenty of book discussion, I’m sure. Join our discussion by writing your comments of the book we are currently reading, any of our others or some highly recommended books you may have read at your Book Club.

rubyGreat night! Wonderful food, great venue and outstanding review by everyone!! I finally finished the book and now, looking back, all I can say is what a beautiful piece of literature! Cynthia Bond’s ability to create such profound emotions in the reader is astounding.The writing was magically poetic and lyrical. This is a many layered story which unfolds as the novel develops so that we discover more and more about each character, helping us to understand their being.  Ephram was my favourite. He is a loving and gentle soul with inner strength to love a woman that the community has turned its back on. His love for Ruby, which began at childhood,  is the hope that runs through the novel, turning it from a dark and dismal hopelessness to a hopeful redemption end.

However!!!!!The sheer volume of child-rapes, woman-killings and other truly awful events in this book turned my stomach and made reading the book extremely difficult. If it hadn’t been for Book Club I would not have finished it. The numerous spirits that filled Ruby’s body was incredulous, the times she was raped and abused form the age of 6 was nauseating and vile! But it continued and continued in graphic detail that was really far too much for me to endure and not needed, in my opinion. The continuous accounts of the rape of young children, Ruby herself and then Ephram’s mother,  only contributed to the disturbing discomfort I felt while reading. Did we really need to read this over and over?? Not me. However, the richness of the prose, the development of the characters, especially those of Ephram and Ruby fill us with hope and love in adversity – the worst you could ever imagine, and we end up filled with optimism for their future. I will not ever open this book again though!

Hopefully I will get reviews from the Book Club girls. We all contributed enthusiastically in our discussion before wolfing down some delicious main cuisine followed by decadent , totally not needed, desert!! Yum!!

waffles

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