Ruby x Jennifer Harris
Katherine Brigby Lewis has been married to her husband Reuben for over thirty years, raising three children in Ladue, Missouri, outside of the city of St. Louis. Before their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, their family is faced with a devastating diagnosis which brings family secrets to the forefront. It exposes motives, and agendas in the Lewis family, as Rueben reverts to his time as a young man in St. Louis's Gaslight Square during the 1950's. In the midst of this diagnosis, he begins to remember the time he spent there with a woman he only refers to as Ruby.From the water and land of New Iberia, Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee over the span of forty years, we find out what it means to be chosen, to be settled and what it means to be loved and remembered.
*Excerpt from Amazon review*
No Shade, Just a Read:
Happy Wednesday readers! It's so good to be back with you guys after a LONGGGGG hiatus, but your favorite book queen is back and better than ever with a new read that was sent to me for review called Ruby x Jennifer Harris! Jennifer Harris is one of my favorite storytellers, and I always enjoy her reads! As a reader, I am usually really nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone with reading new reads by new authors that I work with, but I love challenging my mind and stepping out on faith! Nothing excites me more than being that reader that can help an author grow and learn within their artistry. Ruby was a very different read for me. It allowed me to open my mind, and see things from various perspectives. It discussed the very real topic of interracial love and the power of the mind and imagination. It was everything that a story is made of, and what I loved most about it was that it took me on an emotional journey! I love a good story mixed with a little drama and some suspense to keep me on my toes of what will happen next! Each of the characters brought something different, and I found myself connecting the most with Babs. I loved Babs because she always kept it real, was the one that kept things together, and was Reuben's protection and advocate throughout this read. Let me tell you something. EVERYONE needs a Babs okay? A person in your life that no matter how crazy life gets, what crazy idea or thought you come up with, they are riding for you and protecting you. They are always behind the scenes of the world making sure everything is running smoothly, and they are DEPENDABLE! I loved Babs so much throughout this read, and I really enjoyed her character. I am Babs. Babs is me.
I loved the evolution of the storyline. It continued to grow and grow, which surprised me again and again. Every time I could feel where the story was going, my expectations were turned upside down. I loved noticing themes emerge, and the many plot twists of this novel. Each character, you either loved, hated, or sympathized with. Some I loved, some I wanted to curse out, and others I wanted to cry for. It was also very interesting how the powerful mind disease, Alzheimer's was tied into the novel. Having a family member who died from Alzheimers, this really tugged at my heart strings. It was just amazing how this novel illustrated what can happen when your life has been taken over by what you thought was just a figment of someone's imagination, but it then it all turns out to be real...WOW my edges.
I think my biggest critique for this novel is that it took me awhile to get into. I had a hard time staying focused and unfolding the family dynamic. There were moments when I became confused on who was who, and the roles that they played in the story. Recently, during my book club live feed, I discussed the importance of character building; making your characters come alive! The second that confusion is released when it comes to the characters, it can shake the entire dynamic of the story, and make the reader uninterested. As I discussed in my previous book review, as readers, we want to go through a series of emotions when reading your book whether that means to curse, cry, laugh, smile, whatever! We want to FEEL. The FEELING is what turns a good book into a GREAT book! If I can read your book and rave over it, finish it in a span of a day or more, pull life lessons from it, AND my good wig is snatched all at the same time? That's a GREAT book! Also, I noticed that there were a ton of grammatical errors/unfinished sentences within the novel. One or two, it's like okay fine. It's like a small trip of your own feet in heels. I didn't see that, we're good! More than that, it's like a full on fall! I did see that, I'm laughing while also making sure you're okay, and it can't be taken back. No, I'm not a grammar buff, but I do know that errors in novels are BRUTAL. It can really distract the reader, and I was distracted honey! Sometimes, all it takes is having a great editor to read and re-read your novel over and over again to the point where they know what is going to happen next in the story with their eyes closed to get those grammar errors in check! (Or just getting Aunt June June who was an English teacher back in the day) to look over your work and make those finishing touches that your novel needs! Easy peasy!
Overall, I believe that this book told an excellent story. Jennifer has an amazing gift for storytelling, and it shows in this novel. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster, and I love that piece of it! Truths emerged, hidden secrets were revealed, and love was released. The storyline was not over the top, but was believable! In all families, we have drama, but underneath all of the drama, there's love, memories, and truth. When I review books, I pride myself in honesty. Honesty is what you need as an author, whether a new author, or seasoned because you have to develop the meat and potatoes first. You have to see what people like or don't like to make that next book even better than the one before. You have to build your writing tone and take time to develop those characters and tell that story. The art of storytelling is what will take Jennifer as an author to the next level. THAT is her secret weapon, and I can't wait to see what she creates next! I would like to thank Jennifer Harris for allowing me to review this book and share my feedback! I definitely continue to see amazing potential, and I love your energy! Thank you for allowing me to spill my tea and share my light with you! Finally, everyone as always, thank you for reading! Keep reading for our amazing interview together as we dive into Ruby and more book tings!
Welcome to the launch of my new book blog! Thank you all soooo much for reading and I can't wait to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments! Enjoy! :)